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When newly widowed Hattie Rommel chooses a second husband, she doesn't expect him to fulfill her most secret dreams. She just wants him to take her to Oregon.
Emmet Lachlan marries Hattie with the understanding that he will be free to leave her behind, once she is safely in Oregon. He is a wandering man, not a settling-down farmer. Then an old trapper bequeaths them a map to a valley where gold lies on the ground for the taking.
While Emmet and Hattie gather the gold, they also discover each other. Even lost in love's magic, they both know it cannot last. When they run afoul of murderous renegades, they must flee across untamed mountains to the hidden valley Hattie calls Cherry Vale. In the home she's always longed for, Emmet discovers a peace he's never sought. The end of summer means they must resume their interrupted journey. Can Hattie leave the only place that's ever felt like home? And if she does, will Emmet give up looking for what's on the far side of the hill?