HQN, Feb 2005, 6.99, 384 pp.
In 1240 Scottish King Alexander awards Norman Sir Nicholas Dunkeathe's Castle for his loyalty. Norman needs a wealthy bride so he announces that he hosts a selection gala. Ten ladies with quite a retinue participate with only one being a Scot, Lady Riona mac Dougen, whose kind Uncle Fergus wants the best for his ward.
Nicholas is attracted to the brave kindhearted Riona and relishes the idea she is Scottish because he needs a ticket to gain friends; however she has no dowry so he knows nothing can come of this. As he observes the women, several are brainless; some are haughty; while a few do not want to wed him. All except perhaps Riona knows the abusive price of failure from their male protector. Only Riona interests him and he her, but both realizes he can not choose an impoverished bride.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner