A childhood trauma instilled Cory Wolff with the compulsive need to be there for others. In addition to managing a hardware store, she helps out her widowed mother and younger sister, and maintains the family property. She also rescues the unwanted horse or two and the occasional human.
When Evelyn Brubaker stumbles into her truck’s path in downtown San Antonio, disoriented and bleeding, Cory -- always a sucker for a damsel in distress -- takes her in. Evelyn is young, sweet, and needy, and Cory falls for her hard.
So what if Evelyn originally thinks Cory is a guy? That Cory’s family believes she’s crazy? Evelyn’s the one. She’s got to be.
Except certain things don’t add up. Not only does Evelyn not remember her accident, she’s forgotten everything about her life, including how to use a cell phone. And there’s no record of her existence anywhere.
Evelyn doesn’t mind taking care of a home, even that of a stranger. Cory is kind to her and protects her from the outside world. Soon Evelyn relies on Cory for everything. But eventually bits of her memory resurface and things become so absurd they seem downright impossible.
Will uncovering the whole truth bring them together? Or does the real Evelyn have no place in Cory’s world?
Something fell in the kitchen and she heard Evelyn give a little shriek. Cory was out of bed in a flash. “Is everything okay?”
“I’m so sorry, I --” Evelyn was bent over in front of the open refrigerator, picking up the pieces of a jar of jam that had broken, when she turned her head toward Cory. She froze, her mouth hanging open, her eyes wide. “Are you ... he didn’t tell me, I mean, you look so much alike ... are you Cory’s twin sister?”
“What the --?” Cory flipped the light on before she stepped on any shards in her bare feet. “I have a sister, all right, but we’re not twins.”
“Cory?” Evelyn stood up straight, looking Cory up and down as she stood in her thin pajamas in front of her. “You’re not a ... you’re a ...” Confusion turned her face beet red but it soon morphed into anger. “What kind of game are you playing? All this time letting me think you were a man. I don’t understand this at all!”
Evelyn pushed past Cory and ran toward her bedroom.
“Now, you wait a minute!” Cory caught her before she could slam the door in her face and blocked it with her foot. “I wasn’t playing any games.”
“What kind of person does such a thing? And you thought I was up to no good.” Evelyn backed up against the dresser, putting as much distance between herself and Cory as the small room allowed. “Just because I can’t remember certain things doesn’t mean I don’t know right from wrong. And setting out to deceive people is just wrong, no matter why you think you have to pass for a man.”
Oh, for fuck’s sake! “I don’t even like guys, so why would I try to pass as one?”
Evelyn sank down heavily on the bed. “I know I haven’t been completely in my right mind these past few days, but I just don’t get this at all. From all visible evidence at this moment, if you’ll forgive my bluntness, you are, in fact, not a man at all. Yet I’ve been under the apparent misapprehension that you are, or were, a man. Now, I surely cannot be that confused to mistake one gender for another. But the way you dress --! That hair! And driving a big, old truck and acting like a gentleman ...”
There are women who do that, you know. Cory scowled at her. Nobody gives a shit. Just where have you been, girl?
But Evelyn wasn’t finished: “I mean, I would have sworn sometimes that you even looked at me like ...” She blushed deeply again. “Did you say that you don’t even like guys? Does that mean you’re ... I don’t even know the word for it. I didn’t know women could even ... that is, are you ... uh, uh, a homo?”