When Jude is orphaned at fourteen, her father's best friend comes to the rescue. Oliver wants to remain her friend as well as her guardian, but spirited Jude isn't a girl you can shelter from the world -not after she's already suffered so much heartache. And with each passing year, both Jude and Oliver struggle in their own way against the ties that bind them. What place has love inside and outside of their relationship? Who is really protecting whom -especially when Jude grows into a desirable young woman? And what the future can a relationship with so many complications ever really have?