Believing only death will prevent him from returning to England, Sir Lucien de Gautier answers his king's call to arms. When he is captured and his family refuses the ransom demand, he finds himself bound to the oars of a galley. Enraged and embittered, he has no hope of escape - until a rich merchant's wife offers him freedom. In exchange he agrees to smuggle a virtuous young woman out of a harem and onto a ship bound for England, unaware the real danger lies in the bond forged between him and his fiery charge. But when he learns she is as much his enemy as those who enslaved him, can he forgive her? More, can he forget her?
Determined to wed her childhood friend, a betrothal her English mother will go to any length to break, Alessandra refuses to abandon the only life she has known in Algiers - even if it means compromising her faith. But when she is entrusted to a new bodyguard whose scarred face and soul draw her to him, she soon discovers the bold Englishman is only playing a part, biding his time until he can fulfill his end of a treacherous bargain. Desperate to turn him from his course, she reveals her identity but succeeds only in gaining his contempt. Now that he knows the truth, will he ever feel for her all she feels for him? And will it be enough for her to forsake her world to live in his?