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The world of Veterinarian Harrison Haydon is thrown into upheaval when artist Emma Sterling buys the little house next door to his clinic. Prior to her moving in, Harrison lived an orderly and subdued life following the death of the wife who betrayed him.
Emma was not faring much better, having been widowed by a prison yard fight. She moved out west to paint mountains and cacti. She had pledged to herself, no more emotional involvements.
Both their worlds explode in a confrontation over a howling dog. Harrison is a rather old fashioned gentleman. Emma is a spitfire, and not about to be intimidated by anyone or anything. She stirs emotions in him that he thought dead, and has him feeling like a teenager with a crush. He's scared, determined and wants no part of her, but he cannot resist her.
Emma finds Harrison attractive, he interests her; and he's reawakening feelings in her she hasn't felt in years or ever. Her attempts to further their relationship falter as Harrison blows hot and cold trying to save himself from her, his willpower wavering.
Enter Rod Davidson, the town Lothario, too rich and too too good looking. Rod is not so much taken with Emma as with the idea of possessing her. He is accustomed to having his way with the ladies and much of the town's female population, including Harrison's deceased wife, represent notches in his belt of notoriety. Rod likes the ladies and he doesn't like to hear no.
Emma tells him no, igniting his determination and then his rage when she fights off his advances.
Harrison is in a turmoil. How to save Emma without committing himself to her.

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