Raised in rural isolation, Alyson Hampton is bereft after the death of her aristocratic English grandfather. Introduced to society, she is horrified to learn that her illegitimacy—and the wealth she’s inherited—leave her a target for fortune hunters. Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, she nearly falls prey to her devilish cousin, until a dashing Scotsman comes to her rescue.
Thanks to the hated English, Rory, Laird Maclean, is the last of his family. He is a wanted rebel in England, a smuggler in the Americas, and intent on buying back his former home. Then the wealthiest—most virtuous—heiress in all the kingdom falls into his lap. What’s a blackguard to do when smitten by this virtuous beauty? Alyson insists on marriage. Rory would sooner rob an Englishwoman than marry one.
Even should love find a way, the Maclean is reluctant to trade her virtue for the price on his head...
Rice's ( Love Forever After ) tiresome tale features a supremely annoying heroine, Alyson Hampton, who is given to ``seeing'' the future. It's 1759 and Alyson's beloved grandfather has just died, leaving his title and estate to his nephew, Alexander Hampton, and his wealth to Alyson. But Alexander wants it all: hoping to force his cousin to marry him, he tries to rape her. After she flees, he twice attempts to have her kidnapped. Both times Alyson is rescued by Rory Maclean, an impoverished Scottish laird turned smuggler. Rory takes Alyson with him to America, where he's headed to engage in some illicit trade, and a camaraderie develops between them until one of Alyson's ``dreams'' alerts the innocent girl to her companion's sexual interest in her. At Charleston, she flees the pirate's ship only to stumble a third time into the hands of Alexander's kidnappers. Here comes Rory to the rescue again, and off they sail for Barbados. Readers who haven't jumped ship yet can follow the lovers as they unravel a mystery in Alyson's past, reclaim Rory's heritage and vanquish evil in a melodramatic finale.