Maggie's hatred for the English is fierce. Their king took her father, older brothers, and betrothed away to fight in a foolish battle in the Crusades. As if what the English king has done isn't already bad enough, a small English army attacks her home in the highlands. Grimly determined, she and the remaining members of her clan fight them off and save Urquhart. But she is weary of battling and longs for the return of her loved ones. Instead another group of English soldiers arrive and deliver a complicated message that turns her life forever upside down. Nicholas Neville, Lord of Middleham, is leading his men home from Tunis. Battle weary and saddened at the loss of so many friends, he wishes he had never followed his king to the Crusades. He wants nothing more than to make their way home to England. Yet he must stop at Urquhart and deliver the news that the Durwood chieftain, his sons, and his daughter's betrothed died in the battle. As if that isn't difficult enough, he must also inform Maggie Durwood that she is now his ward and must come with him. Before he can even deliver his messages, Maggie attempts to keep him and his men from her castle.
She dares to shoot him in the leg with her arrow, foolishly risking the outraged retaliation of his soldiers. From that moment on, he knows the two of them will butt heads. She will not dissuade him from his duty of dragging her all the way to England and of finding her a new betrothed. His has not survived the Crusade to be brought down by a strong-willed Scottish lass.