He stumbled into her life one cold, bitter day, almost dead from a bullet in his side. Instinctively, Rachel Yoder reached out to help the stranger, for kindness was in her nature. What she could not know was that this simple act of mercy would forever change her life and challenge her deepest beliefs.
Until then, life for Rachel Yoder had been a straight path, however brutal. She had come to Montana with her family and a scattering of other "Plain People," an Amish sect which had fled the corrupting influences that threatened to destroy their simple way of life. In this wild new territory, she had married Ben Yoder, also raised as part of the sect, yet blessed with a passion and a humor that belied his severe upbringing. It was there too that she had borne him a son, Benjo, and shared his life as a sheep farmer.
The way of the Plain People was simple, harsh, and direct, their focus on God and on His bidding. They turned the other cheek in the face of violence, and lived "plain," avoiding a society they regarded as sinful. Worldly love was not a thing they allowed to dominate their lives, although Rachel had loved her husband Ben -- loved him with a passion that sometimes frightened her and seemed to border on sin. So when he was killed -- hanged by a vigilante posse that falsely accused him of stealing cattle from a neighboring ranch owned by a powerful and ruthless man they called the Baron, abetted by his mysterious wife, Ailsa, and his headstrong half-breed son, Quinten -- she felt an emptiness in her heart that she knew would never go away. But then the outsider appeared in her life, and from that moment on, nothing would be the same.
The man she had rescued called himself Cain. He was handsome, with a haunting kind of male beauty that she found impossible to resist, even knowing he was a killer, as his named suggested. As she nursed him back to health, she became aware of the overpowering attraction she felt for him, aware of the warmth that filled her body when she was with him -- but aware, too, of the danger that lurked behind eyes that had seen too much and a smile that offered secrets no Plain woman should ever know.
Yet despite all the warnings, despite the efforts of her brothers and of Noah Weaver -- himself a widower who once had courted her -- Rachel invited the outsider into her life, hiring him to work the ranch with her. In her heart, she thought she might change him, but she had not reckoned on the irresistible lure of the gun that he kept ever at the ready. Nor had she reckoned that it was his willingness to use it and his skill at killing that would someday prove her salvation.
Rich in historical detail, filled with the heat of forbidden passion and suppressed desire, "The Outsider" is a stirring story of love, faith, and trust, set against the panorama of the changing West.