His teenaged son is on the run-from a murder charge. Widowed rancher Cole Strong might not win any father-of-the-year awards, but he knows his boy.His son's only crime is caring too much about people and the world. Something Cole has forsaken. Now, a corrupt food supplier will do anything to protect its secrets and lies-including killing the kid who knows too much. The only person who can help is the dedicated teacher who'd been reaching out to his child: Jill Pruitt. A beautiful woman who reminds Cole of the man he used to be.Across a dusty, dangerous landscape, Cole and Jill must find the boy they both love-before someone very dangerous does.