Philip Anderson keeps his past close to the vest. Not many people in Mitchell, a small town in the Dakota Territory, would understand him living with the Sioux Indians who rescued him as a boy. Haunted by the murder of his parents as they traveled West in their covered wagon, he knows it wasn't Indians who killed them, and his many unanswered questions about that night still torment him. His only desire is to live quietly on his homestead and raise Arabian horses. Until he meets Anna, a beautiful young woman with secrets of her own.
Philip Anderson’s secret is safe—no one in the close-knit community in the Dakota Territory knows of his skills of handling a gun, or his past desire to avenge his parents’ death. His attention changes when he falls in love, and he hangs up his guns for good. But when a local tycoon threatens the lives of those he loves, Anderson must choose between returning to the life of a gunman to protect the innocent or retreating to his peaceful ranch, alone.
Author Peter Leavell forges an unprecedented tale of tragedy and triumph amid the backdrop of the Civil War through the story of Tad, a very clever slave boy who comes of age as America’s war reaches the sea islands of South Carolina. Tad’s desire to better himself is obstructed by the color of his skin, until Northern soldiers force the evacuation of white plantation owners, setting 10,000 slaves free in a single day. These circumstances seem like a dream, except that the newly freed slaves have no money, no education, and little hope for the future—unless someone rises up to lead them.