Plain, penniless Drucilla Duckworth yearns for the love and excitement she finds in romance novels -- and secretly dreams of a real-life hero of her own. But she never imagines her feverish fantasies could ever come true, until the day fate steps in, and the shy Tennessee schoolteacher discovers who she really is . . .
. . . Wealthy River Templeton, heiress to a thriving Texas cattle empire, with a family she doesn't even know. Filled with the spirit of adventure, River turns her back on the bleak past and heads west into dangerous frontier territory. There her coach is held up by robbers and she's rescued by Gray Morgan, a dashing yet enigmatic man who stirs her heart like no other, for he looks and behaves exactly like the Ideal Man in her penny-dreadful romance novels.
But she soon discovers that Gray's reality departs from her fantasies in some very important ways, and now the transformation of Drucilla into River begins in earnest. The mighty Morgan, too, is in for a surprise when River becomes a woman so bold, so intriguing that no man this side of the Mississippi can resist her -- especially him!