Setting Ohio wilderness, 1757 --- Nicholas Kenleigh had served in the army, been captured and tortured by the Indians, and then escaped. The things hed done and been forced to do, the killing or be killed - the will to survive, had changed him. Hed gone home but, dead inside, he felt for the sake of his family hed be better off alone. Six years roaming the wilderness he was attacked once more, killing his attacker but left with a mortal wound that would surely have killed him had he not happened upon the farm of the widow Elspeth Stewart.
Elspeth, better known as Bethie, was widowed, pregnant, and trusted no man, given her history of abuse at the hands of her step-father and step-brother. Shed been married off to a man old enough to be her father who though treated her kindly, did so without great affection. When Nicholas appeared looking as much like a savage as any others shed seen, she didnt trust him at all, particularly when he stuck a pistol to her temple, forcing her to help him. Nicholas, weak from loss of blood, and after having his wound cauterized found himself at her mercy once Bethie was able to slip him a drug to knock him out. As he convalesced, Elspeth came to accept his presence, and thankfully he was there to help with the complicated delivery of her baby or both she and the child would have died. Unfortunately, their peaceful co-existence would be shattered when an old enemy came to call and they would have to rely on each other as they raced just ahead of marauding Indians in search of safety. Somewhere along the journey, Elspeth had slipped into Nicholas heart bringing him back to the land of the living, and Nicholas knew he would whatever it took to give her all the love in his heart as he began the slow process of healing her soul.
Very sweet love story.Slightly gaphic.