Honora Tannach's life is difficult: her mother has died, and her stepfather, Calum, treats her cruelly, regularly beating her. Honora's mouse-like nature has been noticed by others, most notably the oddly-named Cavan Sinclare, the man her father wants her to marry. Unfortunately for Calum, Cavan
is unwilling to marry someone who isn't strong and courageous. Several years later,
however, it appears that Calum is getting his wish - Cavan has gone missing and his next brother, Artair, has agreed to marry Honora. But after the wedding ceremony is completed, Honora's life turns upside down again when Cavan reappears and her father proves that Honora was married to the Laird's Heir, not to Artair in particular, and she is now Cavan's wife.
Cavan doesn't want a wife, particularly not a quiet, mousy woman like Honora
- especially as his whole focus is on trying to discover the whereabouts of his brother Ronan, who was captured by barbarians at the same time as Cavan. But as Cavan and Honora spend time together and as she escapes her stepfather's influence, they both discover that Honora is rather different than she first appeared. Can Honora help Cavan overcome his feelings of responsibility in Ronan's situation? Can Cavan vocalize his feelings of love? Is the evil person working for the barbarians going to be unmasked?
The central section of this rather lightweight story loses its way somewhat,
with the instigator of the plot against Cavan's family obvious from the first. The historical detail
is interesting in places, although the dialogue occasionally slips into American rather than Scottish. Characterization
feels a little weak, with character's feelings explained rather than described. It
isn't a bad book, just light on plot and characterization, and many of the characters
who people the pages feel stereotypical of this kind of book.