Alana of Llangollen rejoiced the moment she was widowed…but her jubilation swiftly turned to fear. Proudly Welsh, she had married Gilbert Fitz William, one of King Henry II’s Norman vassals, to safeguard the land that was her birthright, thus ensuring peace for all her kinsmen. The union proved disastrous. With Gilbert dead through his own treachery, the threat of vengeance from King Henry loomed before Alana. She was forced to lie about his vassal’s death, knowing that if she ever divulged the truth it would destroy them all. Alana’s world nearly shattered on the day a commanding Norman knight rode through the castle gates. Paxton de Beaumont both intrigued and frightened her—but he had come at his king’s bidding to secure the old Norman fortress and to prove Alana a murderess. That Gilbert had drowned seemed doubtful. Yet Paxton was captivated by Alana’s beauty, and, though her tears of bereavement shook him to his core, he questioned whether he could trust her. A stranger in this wild, hostile land, he was soon enraptured by a woman he must one day see hanged…or commit treason to love.