When Troy Hamilton walks into Laura Harrison’s classroom at Barrington Hills Elementary, seeing him again floods her with turmoil of conflicting emotions. The charismatic young man had gotten in his red Mercedes and driven out of her life with no explanation five years before. Now that he has returned to his hometown, he hopes to pick up their intense relationship where they had left off as if nothing had happened. But a lot has happened to the twenty-five-year-old teacher who has struggled to put back the broken pieces of her heart. Through her rewarding work and with the support of her family, she has made herself whole. Can she afford to risk being hurt again? At first she tries to resist Troy’s renewed and ardently persuasive courtship, but soon the yearnings of her own heart melt her resolve, and despite the reservations of her family—most notably her indomitable aunt Beth—she marries Troy.