Dragon Lord Arius must find his mate. During spring rites, he claims Pena, a healer from the Plains. He likes her small body, flame hair, and spunk. Pena wants nothing to do with the Dragon Lord. She wants love. She longs for long and comfort. Arius carries her away from her Plains village to be plundered like the days of old.
Arius saves her life from a large and deadly adder only to have Pena save his life from the deadly bite. In the healing, Pena loses her heart and gains a great love. Arius discovers the woman he lusted after has more depth and skill. He loses his heart to her. Binding her to him, and himself to her, he performs an ancient rite of fertility.
Upon returning to Measc Realta, the Dragon Lord's home, Pena settles into being Lady of the Keep. The people of the mountains love their new lady and cherish her healing skills.
An old enemy for Pena and for the Dragon Clan rises in power. Indirez, connected to the shadow dragon, tries to steal Pena's power and ruin the burgeoning love between Arius and Pena.
Betrayal, courage, strength, all help Pena and Arius face the challenges and danger that invades their town and their clan.