Debt-ridden survivor of a failed marriage, single mother and proud teacher of Advanced Personal Journey at her local community college, Prudence True Parker is a firm believer in the value of stories. However, romance novels, which she considers "lurid bromides" and "foul sop," do not count. In a chance encounter, dying romance novelist Digby Deeds makes Prudence heir to the 40 unfinished plots of his wildly popular Savage Passions series. Increasing financial desperation convinces Prudence to put aside her intellectual pride and accept Digby's bequest, and the stage is set for Melissa Pritchard's entertaining romantic satire, Late Bloomer.
As she begins her first Native-American bodice ripper, Prudence's love life unexpectedly blossoms. She becomes passionately involved with Ray Chasing Hawk, a much-younger Comanche activist. Even though Ray serves as the unwitting muse to Prudence's novel, their relationship is markedly unsuited to the formulaic plot that Prudence types in secret at night. The often-unemployed Ray moves into her home and creates strife between Prudence, her teenaged daughter and her aging mother. Once it is time for close-kept secrets to be revealed, both Ray and Prudence have completed their own journeys of self-discovery, leaving each with the maturity and strength to recognize the cheapness of perfection and the value of forgiveness.