Maggie McClellan is a single and single-minded woman whose sole purpose in life is to protect the M-Bar Ranch and the M-Bar Ranch family: her son, T.J.; Martha and Jonah (who have lived on the ranch as long as Maggie), the M-Bar horses, and one stray dog who knows all of Maggie's sorrows.
Maggie is smart. She knows how to run a ranch and how to keep her guests happy; she knows to stay out of Martha's kitchen and not to leave Jonah's tools lying around; she knows how to sooth a frightened colt and that T.J. worries too much for a little boy; but she doesn't know how to stop an anonymous investor from buying out her leases.
Maggie will not lose everything her parents built. Saving the M-Bar is the only way to keep her parents' memory alive. When the pressure of holding everything together weighs too heavily, Maggie breaks a long-standing rule: she rides off alone across the M-Bar pastures without telling anyone where she's going.