For Lillian Keim, instructing children in her one-room schoolhouse is as close to being a mother as she'll ever get. Lillian has a calling to be a teacher, and she won't give it up to marry. But her plans--and her heart--are at risk when she begins to feel more than friendship for lifelong pal Timothy Bowman. When Tim rescues Lillian and her class from a fire, the volunteer firefighter suddenly sees what he's been blind to all his life: he wants his friend as his wife. But something beyond her professional goals is holding Lillian back. He's got to unlock her secret before he loses his friend--and his forever love.