When event coordinator Season Aldridge takes a position in Red Cloud to promote writing at the famed Willa Cather Foundation, her quest to discover the best of Nebraska brings her into a collision course with handsome wildlife outfitter Rance Foreman as their observation blind collapses on the banks of the Platte River. A disruption in the courtship of the flocking sandhill cranes marks the beginning of another kind of allure, but when his group of rowdy hunters crashes her all-ladies writing retreat weeks later, the lodge suddenly teems with contrasting characters. Adverse weather blankets the setting and cooperation becomes a must. The writing group’s cleverly turned colliding word pairings offer entertainment during their joint survival effort. Private strategy sessions in a cozy pantry with Rance kindle a spark, leaving Season under a “romantic ransom” of unavoidable proportions.
With a flame lit despite Rance’s no-touch house rule, more than one captive may hope the firewood doesn’t run out. Though Season finds her “reckless restraint” melting, their cooperative survival could be an answer to prayer. Whether ransom or rescue, the retreat turns bittersweet for two willing hearts.