When Marie Penthievre of Chalendrey is abducted from her Norman priory and taken to Brittany's court, she vows never to dishonour her family's ties by marrying a Breton brute. There is only one man who might change her mind: Tiarnan of Talensac, a handsome, skilled, and noble knight indeed. But Tiarnan does not love her, and when he marries a slip of a girl instead, Marie vows to become a nun as soon as she is able. But Tiarnan has a secret, and that slip of a girl betrays him once she learns of it. When Tiarnan disappears and is presumed dead, his widow marries his one-time rival and assumes the title to his land, which steadily begins to decline under her unskilled, merciless rule. Marie knows something is wrong and only she is clear-headed enough to rescue Tiarnan and return him to his rightful status. But can she do so before it is too late?
Gillian Bradshaw's father, an American Associated Press newsman, met her mother, a confidential secretary for the British embassy, in Rio de Janeiro. She was born in Washington DC in 1956, the second of four children. They didn't move around quite as much as one might expect after such a beginning: Washington was followed merely by Santiago, Chile, and two locations in Michigan. Gillian attended the University of Michigan, where she earned her BA in English and another in Classical Greek, and won the Hopwood Prize for fiction with her first novel, "Hawk of May." She went on to get another degree at Newnham College, Cambridge University, England in Greek and Latin literature, and she sold her first novel while preparing for exams. She decided to stay in Cambridge another year to write another novel and think about what to do for a Real Job. However, while there, she discovered she could live on her income as a novelist and also met her husband, who was completing his doctorate in physics. Between books and children she never did get a Real Job, and she's been writing novels ever since. She and her husband now live in Coventry. They have four children and a dog.