Soon after Kathy Anderton starts dating, she wonders why she is expected to have sex to keep a boyfriend - a view shared by her friend Kelly, who invites Kathy to attend her church. Kathy's mum is pleased with this development, particularly as she finds out she is dying of cancer, which prompts her to make arrangements with the vicar concerning Kathy's future. Coming to terms with her mother's death, Kathy is sad, scared and angry - angry that she was abandoned by a father she'd never known, and that both sets of grandparents refused to acknowledge her existence. Anger fuels her to research her father, and she discovers several Anderton's resident in a small rural town in America, and also finds a girls' college some twenty miles away. Kathy investigates further and finds it to be a very strict Christian college with curfews, rules, mandatory attendance at the college chapel, and weekly meetings with tutors to discuss work grades and responsible attitude. Given that she has no stomach for the drinking and sex culture in British universities, she applies for a place - and is successful.
Her new life begins, and when she receives an invitation from Pastor Brad Hoctor to attend his family church, the ideal appeals to her. After the first service, she joins 'Pioneers', a group for the 16- to 21-year-olds in church, and subsequently has her first sight of Assistant Pastor Jack Myerscough - a handsome man who is to become a key influence. It seems that discipline within the church family is strict, and Pastor Jack has no qualms in spanking young women for their disruptive behaviour. This regime is all new to Kathy, but it doesn't stop her from accepting Jack's invitation to go out on a date with him - even though he later punishes her for her own failings. Kathy's developing relationship with Jack unfolds as she finds out more about her estranged family, and her ultimate acceptance of Jack's authority culminates in a happy ever after ending in this tale of Christian domestic discipline.