Niall MacIan, a Highland laird, desperately needs funds to save his impoverished clan. Lady Katherine Ruthven, a lowland heiress, is rumored to be "unmarriageable"and her uncle hopes to be granted her title and lands when the king sends her to a convent. King David II anxious to strengthen his alliances sees a solution that will give Ruthven the title he wants, and MacIan the money he needs. Laird MacIan will receive Lady Katherine's hand along with her substantial dowry and her uncle will receive her lands and title.
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Her parents want a betrothal, but Mairead MacKenzie can't get married without revealing her secret, and no man will wed her once he knows. Plain in comparison to her siblings and extremely reserved, Mairead has been called "MacKenzie's Mouse" since she was a child. No one knows the reason for her timidity and she would just as soon keep it that way. When her parents arrange a betrothal to Laird Tadhg Matheson, she is horrified.
Lady Gillian MacLennan's clan needs a leader, but the last person on Earth she wants as their laird is Fingal Maclan. She can neither forgive nor forget that his mother killed her father, and, by doing so, created Clan MacLennan's current desperate circumstances.