Leslie Cahill, now seventeen, falls in love with an "older" man, twenty-eight year old Sloan Stroh. She's flattered by the attention of this neighboring cowboy and is swept along by her strong emotions. Sloan dominates Leslie's every moment, in her mind at least. Leslie's father and brother strongly object to Leslie and Sloan's relationship not only because of the considerable age difference, but because they do not trust Sloan's intentions. Leslie learns Sloan's dark secret, which dates back many years to her mother's death. A fast-paced coming-of-age story, McClellan's Bluff is set in Washington's ranch country.