When Jerry Douglas asks Elly Benson to marry him, he wants their ceremony to be as close to Valentine's Day as possible. Though Elly tearfully accepts Jerry's proposal without hesitation, as she readies herself for her second wedding, the doubts and misgivings of any new bride-to-be are exacerbated by the abuse she suffered during her first marriage. When Elly recalls how quickly her uncertain stomach jitters grew into tight knots of pain on her wedding day, she also remembers how and why she'd fallen in love with and married Arthur, her first husband. A mistake she regrets more and more with each passing hour.
Though she's lived with Jerry for four months now, and been subject to his discipline more than once, her first husband had been kind and careful with her, too, in the beginning. At least until she vowed to love, honor and obey him. And their move to Corbin's Bend turned him from the strict, but caring husband she thought she'd married into a monster she no longer recognized.