Gabriel Louden, Earl of Rievaulx, is sent to reveal the person living on the Isle of Skye in Scotland who is spying for Napoleon. He agrees to go because he needs to redeem himself after allowing vital information to be stolen by a prostitute who distracted him during a tryst. His best friend's wife is from Skye and he uses a visit to her family as cover for his own investigations.
His host's daughter is Margaret MacLeod, who is not only beautiful, but the island's healer. Rievaulx is immediately attracted to her, but to seduce his best friend's sister-in-law would mean the lost of his one close friend. Maggie is also drawn to Rievaulx but she is recovering from the shame of a romance with another Englishman who abandoned her.
But in order to hunt for the spy, Rievaulx, who speaks no Gaelic, must accompany Maggie as she tends to the various ailments of the islanders. Rievaulx listens to Maggie's romantic tales of folklore, particularly, the one about the Englishman who was killed by his Scottish lover because he was going to leave her and then she killed herself. Rievaulx and Maggie cannot resist each other and become lovers. Even though he scoffs at such tales, Rievaulx begins to feel they are re-enacting the folk tale. Rievaulx knows that by capturing the Scottish spy, Maggie will reject him for hurting one of her friends and then he will have to leave her.
This report prepared by L. Watson