A Crimean War widow, Ellen Coyler, learns her five-year-old son’s wealthy grandfather is attempting to prove her an unfit mother, so he can get custody of the child. To prevent this, she agrees to a marriage-in-name-only with her husband’s former commanding officer, Gerald Osborne. He promises to keep the marriage unconsummated until the threat from the grandfather goes away, and then get an annulment.
As she lives in Gerald’s home and sees how he struggles to overcome the handicap of having a missing right arm, while he tries to build a business as a horse trainer, befriends her son, and shows her every consideration, she begins to wonder if she wants an annulment. But Gerald shows no interest in consummating their marriage, until he injures himself in a riding accident and Ellen nurses him in the privacy of his bedroom. Are his growing feelings just passion, or something deeper?