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Melinda Jane Frazier, postmistress and farmer in Primrose, Missouri accepts her single state. But her solitary existence changes overnight, when strangers arrive during a blizzard. Holding Papa's old rifle, cocked and ready, and counting on help from Brownie, her overlarge Lab, she cracks the door open.
She opens her home to Zeke, a widower, and his young son, Timothy. They fill her heart with unexpected Christmas cheer. Though Zeke insists he's a drifter, moving from odd job to odd job, Melinda begins to hope he'll change. How can she bear to return to the lonely existence she knew before Zeke drifted to her door?
When Sue-Ellen Grayson travels to Fort Clark, Texas, the stagecoach is robbed and she arrives penniless, without even a ticket to return home. Officer Ethan Hartley, whom she came to console because her older sister, Cassandra, jilted her for another man, can't stand the sight of her, because she reminds him of his lost love. Sue-Ellen, unable to go home, gets a job in the cafe. Then Cassandra, tired of her fling, arrives, and Ethan sees her for the flirt that she is. He and Sue-Ellen realize they were meant for each other.
Joanna Sharpe begins her teaching career believing she can move mountains by herself. But some of her emotionally and mentally challenged students stymie her. So does Rob Thomas, father of one of her students. How should she handle his interest? And what about James, a student who insists his brother is trying to kill him? Is he really in danger? Also, who is trying to kill her or at least frighten her to death? As she tries to equip her students to succeed in the world, she realizes she must appreciate their baby steps, instead of expecting instant transformation. And in the climax, when all their lives are at stake, a lot of heroes emerge.