The story focuses on the intimate relationship between Regina Browning, a librarian newly moved to Kentucky, and Michael Panelli, a Catholic doctor whose wife left him for another man. Regina, quiet and artistic, lives alone since the death of her husband. Michael comes from a large, affectionate, and deeply religious family, yet he harbors a secret guilt. Though they are afraid to love again, Regina and Michael can't fight the sparks that fly between them from the beginning. Their love, however, does not go unchallenged. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, Michael is not free to divorce his wife and marry Regina. The couple's devotion to each other could lead to scandal and exclusion, even, for Michael, excommunication. Regina finds herself battling for Michael's heart against his own painful confusion, his family, and even the local Catholic Church to prove what she herself knows - that the love they share is holy and true. She must decide if she loves Michael enough to let him go or if she will force him to choose between his God and her.