Returning home to the Scottish Highlands after battling the English, Tayg Munro receives a hero’s welcome—and a shocking ultimatum. In order to take his place as heir to the chiefdom of Culrain, he must choose a wife within the month or have one chosen for him. Angered by his family’s decree, Tayg delays the inevitable by volunteering for a mission for the king that takes him deep into the Highlands. Preoccupied by his marital obligation, the brooding warrior sets out with no hint of the fateful encounter that awaits him…
Catriona MacLeod is known throughout the Highlands as the Shrew of Assynt, thanks to her razor-sharp tongue and her unwillingness to yield to her five brothers. When she’s told that her eldest brother has promised her hand in marriage to a man she has good reason to hate, she flees into the Scottish wilderness, determined to seek the king’s intervention in her plight. When she reluctantly joins forces with a handsome traveler, she cannot anticipate the treacherous plot that will soon embroil them—nor the passion that will ignite between them.
After his eldest brother pays the ultimate price for plotting against the king, Ailig MacLeod returns to Castle Assynt with a heavy heart. On the king’s orders, Ailig’s father must forfeit the title of clan chief in favor of his youngest son or the entire clan will be set to fire and sword.
But before Ailig can deliver his message, he encounters the beautiful Morainn MacRailt, a young widow whose solitary life in her cottage down the glen, away from the boisterous castle, garners unwanted attention from men looking for a wife. Ailig is taken by her quiet confidence and the powerful connection he feels between them, but his duty lies at Castle Assynt where a series of crises have arisen in the wake of his brother’s death and his sister’s abrupt departure.
Determined to bring his clan to order, but wary of whom to trust, Ailig makes a fateful decision: he calls on Morainn to serve as chatelaine, offering her the protection of life inside the castle in return for overseeing the stronghold. Clever Morainn quickly becomes one of his most important advisors, and as the trust between them grows, so does an undeniable passion. Together they seek to restore the MacLeod clan’s legacy, rebuild Castle Assynt—and discover a love unlike any they ever imagined.