In 1851 Anne Garthwicke accompanies her father to Castle MacCairn in Scotland so they can examine, appraise, and catalogue the edifice's contents. Anne's first reaction to the foreboding castle is a combination of déjà vu with a strong sense of evil and power.
When Anne meets the owner Ruairdh MacCairn, she feels empathy and more misfortune. Ruairdh wants to sell the castle so that he can use the money to help his tenants before the four centuries old curse placed on his family by a monk disables and ultimately kills him.
Though they avoid each other, Anne and Ruairdh feel strongly attracted to one another. As Ruairdh steps closer to insanity, Anne becomes his last thread of normalcy as love grows between them.