Only sweet Southerner Becky Souder's charms seem so soothe shell-shocked Lt. Andrew Pike, a surgeon in the Union Army of occupation in Georgia. Though they dearly love one another, Becky's husband Harlan never returned from the war and, being a woman of high morals, she refuses Andrew's advances—unless they can discover the fate of her missing husband. Andrew struggles to convince Becky of the rightness of their alliance in the face of disapproval, both North and South, in the form of family, friends and the vengeful night riders. Andrew's brother Calvin is especially upset by Andrew's determination to marry Becky Souder. Calvin might accept the fact that Andrew adores gentle Becky, but he has difficulty understanding why Andrew allows these troublesome Southerners to keep complicating their lives. But perhaps the greatest obstacle to their happiness is not if Harlan is truly dead but the dreadful secret Becky has been keeping why Harlan Souder never wanted to come home.