Growing up in a magnificent Charleston home, Jessie Roland bas everything money can buy. And yet she feels lost and unhappy. Sheltered by her frantically over-protective mother, Thea. who never lets her out of her sight, Jessie longs to be like other children. And as she grows into young adulthood her family's stifling possessiveness feeds her feelings of loss and desolation and fuels the terrible dreams from which she wakes screaming, night after night. Not until she is nineteen does Jessie finally find a way to break free. Securing a job as assistant to a prominent Texas senator, she makes her escape to Washington DC, where she finds herself swept into a whirlwind marriage to his handsome, irresistibly charming son. But as the senator's dazzling political career collapses in scandal and her marriage turns ugly and abusive, Jessie is once again haunted by dreams of lost happiness. Only in Lucas Palmer, the reclusive Texas rancher, will she discover the strength she needs to penetrate the darkness.