Returning to the Scottish Highlands after a fierce battle with the English, Tayg Munro receives a hero's welcome - and an ultimatum. To take his place as heir to the chiefdom, he must choose a wife or have one chosen for him. Furious and stalling for time, the brooding warrior volunteers for a mission that takes him deep into the Highlands, with no hint of the fateful encounter that awaits him.... Catriona MacLeod is known as the Shrew of Assynt, thanks to her razor-sharp tongue and her unwillingness to yield to her five brothers. When she learns that her eldest brother has promised her hand in marriage to a loathsome man, she flees....
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After his brother is executed for treason, Ailig MacLeod returns to Castle Assynt bearing a heavy heart and a grim message: the Scottish king has ordered Ailig's father to forfeit the clan chiefdom - or face deadly consequences. But before he can reach home, Ailig encounters Morainn MacRailt, a beautiful young widow living a solitary life in the glen. He is taken by her quiet confidence and the powerful connection that sparks between them, but his duty lies at Castle Assynt, where his clan is in turmoil.