Five years before, in 1649, the heads of Lady Evangeline Bradshaw’s father and brother rolled on Cromwell’s chopping block, along with those of King Charles’s and others. Not waiting to see if her head was next, she fled England with the family’s remaining gold and silver crowns, putting a vast ocean between herself and peril.
Even here, in this remotest place on earth one could imagine, Evangeline still does not feel safe. And especially not now, this Christmas Eve, when she opens her Virgin Queen Tavern’s door to admit the midnight traveller Nathan Sutcliff, who is most devilishly handsome ~ and most determined to carry out Cromwell’s order.
From somewhere among the colony of North Carolina’s Gaelic gentry, twenty-five-year-old backwoodsman Jacob Dare is determined to find a young woman to recreate the home that his father’s Dare Castle must have been. She would have to be well bred, well read, and gifted with the ability to turn the primitive into the palatial. If she Is favorable to look upon and sweetly dispositioned, that would be even better. That she could ever come to love him is irrelevant.
The Lady Catriona Kilcairn is desperately seeking to save her familial colonial home from 1776’s bloodthirsty insurrectionists, demanding she take the American Oath of Allegiance. Marriage with the backwoods oaf Jacob Dare is her only immediate option, and a most objectionable one, given that her love and loyalty belong to the Sassenach of her youth, the aristocratic Barrett Fairfax.
Yet, as the famous Scotsman Sir Walter Scott warned, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!”