Sydney Parker Ross is as rooted in Texas as the old oak tree outside her bedroom window. Jared Trent, a land developer from Washington DC, is in Texas Hill Country to settle his grandmother's estate. Despite their differences, she and Jared fall in love during riding classes and picnics at the springs. But when Sydney finds out about Jared's plans to rezone his late grandmother's one-thousand-acre ranch into retail shops and residential housing, the two have an argument, with neither of them realizing the ramifications of their harsh words.
To add to Sydney's confusion, her longtime friend Duncan Sinclair proposes, arguing that they were meant to be together. Sydney loves Jared without reservation but doesn't want to hurt Duncan. But she needs to choose quickly before she loses one-or both-of her loves.
When Sydney receives word one fateful morning that Duncan's plane has crashed, she doesn't believe it-just as she doesn't want to believe the last angry words she shared with Jared a few days earlier. Trying to absorb it all, she remembers the summer that brought them to this point.