Eric Murray was the youngest of his brothers, determined to gain his rightful inheritance after thirteen years of bitter dispute with his father's family. Starting out alone to confront his tight-fisted kinsmen, he encountered a chestnut-haired beauty set upon by thieves. When she begged for Eric's protection for herself and her infant nephew, Eric promised to deliver them to the safety of her family. Bethia Drummond desperately tried to ignore her attraction to the azure-eyed stranger. Still, Eric Murray was Bethia's only hope of escaping her ruthless kin who planned to kill her and her orphaned nephew, and claim their inherited land. Then Bethia learned that Eric, too, was seeking land and coin from his own kin-her family's closest allies. How could she love a man she might one day be forced to stand against? And yet she could not ignore what her troubled heart knew-that this proud knight had more than inspired her deepest passions, he had become her very destiny.