When Niniver Carrick, the lady of her clan, is harassed by men looking to marry her and usurp her leadership, she turns to neighbor Marcus Cynster for help, never expecting that she might well have met her match in life and love.
As the daughter of the Carrick laird, Niniver is stunned to realize her two older brothers have completely undermined the clan’s stability. Murder, embezzled funds, and suicide have left them and their father dead, and when her younger brother refuses to stand as laird, the clan chooses her as their leader. Niniver understands her unique challenges as lady; not many men in Victorian Scotland would stand next to a wife without feeling diminished by her heightened status, so she's resigned to remaining single, determined to turn the clan’s fortunes around. Hence she is startled and annoyed when a number of clansmen start a campaign of “courting” her, which feels a lot more like stalking. Niniver turns to Marcus Cynster, owner of the neighboring estate, hoping some dedicated attention from the powerful and respected aristocrat might temper her clansmen’s ardor. Her plan is successful, and while Marcus acts as Niniver’s beau, the two admit to a long-held attraction. Niniver can’t trust that a man would want a relationship with her without trying to dominate her, so Marcus has to tread carefully while he convinces her that his affection is sincere and his motives to support her are pure. Meanwhile, as the men of her clan give the couple a respectful distance, it becomes evident that they have another, more menacing enemy to contend with. Laurens’ sprawling series spans multiple generations and families with no end in sight, but with distinctive, engaging storylines and the ever fascinating and uniquely authentic Cynsters, why stop?
Laurens maintains her stylish storytelling in another compelling romance with a hint of suspense and an interesting look at gender roles, power, and partnership.