A drifter since his teens, Jimmy Dorsett has no home and no hope. What he does have is a duffel bag, a lot of stories, and a junker car. Then one cold desert night, he picks up a hitchhiker and ends up with something more: a letter from a dying man to the son he hasn't seen in years.
On a quest to deliver the letter, Jimmy travels to Rattlesnake, a small town nestled in the foothills of the California Sierras. The centerpiece of the town is the Rattlesnake Inn, where the bartender is handsome former cowboy Shane Little. Sparks fly, and when Jimmy's car gives up the ghost, Shane gets him a job as handyman at the inn.
Both within the community of Rattlesnake and in Shane's arms, Jimmy finds an unaccustomed peace. But it can't be a lasting thing. The open road continues to call, and surely Shane - a strong, proud man with a painful past and a difficult present - deserves better than a lying vagabond who can't stay put for long.