Marlo Croft, canine behaviorist at the Dog Haven Sanctuary in Halo Peak, Washington, has her life neatly organized. The trauma of her past is well buried, her emotions tamped down, and rehabilitating and rehoming damaged and unwanted dogs gives her the focused, contained life that makes her feel secure.
The arrival of a new rescue dog, Justice, also brings the unwelcome distraction of a handsome stranger who is to shadow Marlo and Justice through the dog’s rehabilitation.
Suffering guilt over the death of his wife, New Zealander Adam Guildford’s short contract in the US to research dog fighting is what he hopes will pull him out of the limbo he has floundered in for the past four years. He arrives prepared to tackle the emotional and behavioral needs of the rescued dogs, but completely unprepared for the way his presence unnerves Marlo and awakens his own dormant feelings.
As they start to gain Justice’s trust, Marlo loosens her grip on her inner fears and the simmering attraction between her and Adam heats up. Adam works carefully to dismantle the emotional barricades Marlo erected, until one day he unwittingly delivers the horror from Marlo’s past straight to her doorstep, an action that tears the three of them apart.