After her father dies, Phinn Hawkins finds herself and her elderly horse, Ruby, without a home. Her new landlords, the Allardyce brothers, turn her out for not being able to pay rent. She is able to find a job and lodgings for both herself and Ruby at a nearby riding school, but even that good fortune turns sour when a new manager moves in. Wandering a nearby forest, wondering what to do next, she finds Ashley Allardyce drowning in a lake, and quickly rescues him. When the eldest Allardyce brother, Tyrell, learns of Phinn’s troubles, he hires her as a companion for sickly, heartbroken Ashley. But as Phinn and Ashley grow close, Tyrell becomes jealous.