Most of the time Kendra Taylor found that spending time with her nieces helped fill an empty space inside her. When Alison or Hannah wrapped their chubby arms around her neck or planted a sloppy kiss on her cheek, her primary feeling was gratitude that she and their mother, her younger sister, had finally built a bridge across the abyss of their dysfunctional childhood.
But "most of the time" also meant there were moments, like this one, when Kendra found herself wishing for more than a day or even a week when she and her husband Isaac could enjoy the high-voltage electricity of children in their lives. Now, as she watched four year old Alison shove a red and white Santa Claus hat over her copper Orphan Annie curls, she felt a pang she knew too well.
Kendra and Jamie were never storybook sisters. But after a long estrangement, Jamie has offered Kendra and her husband their ultimate dream, a child of their own. Despite some lingering misgivings about her once-wayward younger sister, Kendra agrees, and Jamie, a promising architect and single mother, becomes a gestational surrogate for Kendra and Isaac.
In addition to this amazing gift of life, Jamie designs a house for the couple on Isaac's ancestral property along the Shenandoah River. She hopes Kendra will finally see the woman she has become. But when a medical crisis threatens Jamie's health and her budding relationship with Kendra's builder, the enigmatic Cash Rosslyn, Jamie learns that the most difficult choice in her life is still ahead, and its cost may be beyond calculation.