Leaving her finishing school behind, Mara Shannon McCall returned to the lawless country of her birth, determined to reclaim the ranch that was her father's legacy. With a derringer in her pocket and her heart beating wildly in her breast, she rode toward the home she barely remembered--only to find a wounded man across the rugged trail. He was beaten and bloody, but Pack Gallagher was unmistakably a fighter--a handsome Irish brawler with shoulders a yard wide, hands as hard as steel, and midnight-blue eyes as proud and passionate as Mara's own. With a shuddering wave of desire, she knew he was a champion who could fight by her side against the outlaws on her land and a soul mate who could share her deepest secrets. Here was an exciting, defiant lover who could hold her forever--or the one man who could crush her dreams and break her heart.