Nicholas Vaughn is Lord of New Romney and also a Baron of the Cinque Ports. He directs a fleet of ships that service the king 15 days a year in exchange for special privileges. When Muriel Draper causes havoc on his wharf, he realizes she is a spinster - a woman who spins wool for a living - from the town. Her late father has angered the Clothmaker's Guild and now Muriel and her brother have been excommunicated from the guild and also left with a debt to the baron that he insists Muriel repays.
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Isobel MacEwen is sent as her cousin Catherine's proxy to marry Conlin de Braose, Baron of the Cinque Ports. But several months before she leaves Scotland, and on the same night that the baron's ship is docked in port, she is a witness to the murder of their Scottish king. Or almost a witness. From her hiding place on that stormy night, she only sees the murderer's shoes as he walks by. Isobel's weakness is shoes. She loves shoes and notices not only everyone's shoes, but the way they walk as well.
English lord John Montague is a baron of the Cinque Ports and has been told by his king he needs to marry and produce an heir. While in France, John is hit by an arrow and thrown from his horse in the midst of a storm. He ends up dangling from a cliff with only one person who can help him - his angry ex-wife with a bow and arrows in her hand.