In 1860s Seattle, redwoods were plentiful but women scarce. Yet a man with a wife could secure 640 acres of timberland for free.

Joe Denton doesn’t have a wife, though, his died before she could
follow him to Seattle. Now the local judge is threatening to take
away his claim. In desperation, he buys himself a Mercer bride — one of
the eastern widows and orphans brought to the Territory by entrepreneur
Asa Mercer.

Anna Ivey’s journey west with Mercer is an escape from the aftermath
of the Civil War. She signed on to become a cook — not a bride. When
she’s handed over to Denton, her stubborn refusal to wed jeopardizes his
land. With only a few months before he loses all he holds dear, can he
convince this provoking but beguiling easterner to become his lawfully
wedded wife?