First, there is Levi Grant, a giant of a man and a former prizefighter who is released from prison as the novel begins. He served two years in Huntsville prison because he accidentally killed a man. He moves to Spencer, Texas, where he becomes the town blacksmith. He has a speech problem, so he is a man of few words, but he is well-read and intelligent, even though he doesn't look the part, and he would rather not have people learn about his past.
There he meets the petite and beautiful Eden Spencer, daughter of the town's founder, who runs a library in her home. Eden is a high society spinster whose former fiancee left her at the altar.
Enter the nemesis, Sheriff Conrad Pratt, who wants to marry Eden and lets her know that every time he comes around.
Later in the book we meet a sixteen year old girl, Chloe, whose mother is a prostitute in the local bar and brothel, and her beau, a Scottish lad who works at the quarry and brings iron work to Levi.
The local minister offers Levi a second chance when he recommends him for the job of blacksmith without telling the town leaders about his prison record. Chloe is offered a second chance when Levi rescues her from the brothel before she is tainted and harmed.
Eden has trouble giving Levi a second chance when she finds out about his prison record. And when the sheriff discovers Levi's hidden past, he has an agenda to run him out of town.
This book is filled with twists and turns and action-packed adventure. Near the end, I couldn't read fast enough as everything came together.