For five turbulent years, Ariane of Claredon has dutifully prepared herself for marriage to King Henry's most trusted vassal, the feared Norman knight Ranulf de Vernay. But cruel circumstance has branded Ariane's father a traitor to the crown. And Ranulf is returning to Claredon, not as bridegroom...but as conqueror.
Survivor of a hellish youth, Ranulf knows well the treacheries of noblewomen - and mistrusts the regal, defiant beauty to whom he was once betrothed. But though he has come to claim her lands and her body as his prize, it is the mighty warrior who must ultimately surrender to Ariane's proud, determined passion and her remarkable healing love.