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Synopsis

Amanda Childs and Jon Connor have made it to the altar, and are settling into a cozy life in Mainville. However, their married life starts out rocky, with Amanda’s injuries from the accident causing health complications. Amanda and Jon find themselves dealing with a plethora of family issues, Amanda trying to win the approval of Jon’s family, to make peace with Andrew’s father, the powerful Senator Thomas Whitmore, and to maintain a relationship with her own brother Jeff.

Jon is transitioning from the FBI into a career as an attorney in private practice. He is approached by Stephen Marks, the former Bishop of the Episcopal diocese and Amanda’s real father, disclosing a surprising turn of events and seeking Jon’s assistance in filing a probate and guardianship action involving the late Billy Barnes.

In the meantime life in Mainville is changing. Dr. Howells has a scare with a heart attack. Both Charlie and Ralph are soon to be fathers. Ralph is putting his name up for the county judge vacancy, and Charlie has already qualified to run for sheriff.

Amanda is surprised when she is approached by Esme Townsend, a wealthy and influential local woman, about applying for the judgeship. She declines, determined to support Ralph and to champion Charlie’s appointment for sheriff when the incumbent died.

Out of the blue a dark-haired, dark-eyed beautiful woman shows up, a lobbyist promising Ralph her assistance in his bid for judge. The woman, Lauren Mallory, turns out to be a former acquaintance to Jon and later to David, and it is discovered that she had a sexual relationship with both several years earlier.

Amanda is served with a paternity complaint filed against Jon. Reeling from this revelation, they receive a call that Ralph is in trouble. Arriving at Ralph’s home, they discover that a murder has occurred. When law enforcement responded to the call, David and Ralph were found at the house with the victim, and they are suddenly suspects.

While crime scene operatives are crawling all over the house looking for evidence, Charlie gets the call from the governor that he has been appointed as sheriff and that he will lead the murder investigation. He finds himself suddenly at odds with his friends, and he and Amanda skirmish over the collection of evidence.

During the murder investigation, evidence keeps mysteriously appearing, casting suspicion first at Ralph, then David, and even Jon as the possible suspects. Amanda is approached and threatened by a shadowy figure that she should apply for the judgeship or face the possibility of charges being brought against one or more of the men. She is blackmailed into keeping silent.

Charlie and Amanda end up on opposite sides, and Amanda desperately fights the growing evidence against her husband and friends. Furthermore, she is faced with more and more information eroding her trust in Jon. As events unfold, Jon has to combat his own jealousy and suspicions about Amanda as well.

Then, just as Amanda’s nerves are stretched to the breaking point, evidence is delivered to her that seems to point irrefutably to Jon’s continuing involvement in an affair with Lauren Mallory, and to his being the perpetrator of the murder.

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