In this medieval romance, Father Rainulf Fairfax is called to administer last rites to a number of villagers in a town ravaged by smallpox. There he meets Constance, housekeeper to the late town priest, and also suffering the illness. He stays with her all night, nursing her through the worst of it, only to hear later that she died anyway. Imagine his surprise when she shows up in his lecture hall at Oxford dressed as a boy, on the run from the sadistic Sir Roger Foliot and his insane henchman Pigot. He insists she stay in his house for safety, and fights to deny his growing attraction to her, as he seeks a promotion, one of the requirements for which is celibacy.
Constance--or Corliss, as she went by when she left town--has the typical views of a slightly too modern heroine set in the 12th century, but she was a strong woman who went after what she wanted. Rainulf's biggest flaw was overprotectiveness, and when that's all you can complain about, he was a pretty good hero of this romance.
Excellent medieval fiction, wonderful storyline. Ryan has a wonderful knack for taking characters from this time, making then adapt some "modern" characteristics. I've also read Sun and the Moon (wonderful!). It was worth the effort. Corliss and Rainulf are spectacular, two individuals who need to be their own person but also need each other.