When servant Claire De Peche is chosen as wife by her much-widowed master, she has no choice but to obey. But when her husband is killed during the First Crusade, her in-laws cast her out and keep her beloved son. Desperate and grieving, Claire is taken in by the last of a long line of women healers who go back to the Roman occupation of Britain. Taught to read and make medicines by her mentor, Dame Nonna, Claire soon realizes Nonna is slowly losing her mind. In order to care for Nonna and carry on her healing tradition, Claire submits to a proxy marriage with Nonna's son Palmer, a man she's never met who is serving in the Crusade. Things get really interesting when Palmer comes home to discover a mother who doesn't recognize him anymore, and a wife he never heard of. Haywood Smith weaves Claire and Palmer's story with the actual unsolved murder of William the Conqueror's son, William Rufus, providing plenty of drama, action, historical accuracy,demure romance, and adventure.