Written by Barbara Cartland
Alone in the world following the tragic death of her parents, lovely Leona Grenville travels to Scotland to stay with the Duke of Ardness, the widowed husband of her late mother’s closest friend. Penniless and grief-stricken, Leona seeks comfort and security, which she hopes the Duke can offer. Exhilarated by the wild beauty of the moors, Leona spirits rise and she begins to believe that in the Highlands she can find happiness and peace again. But the weather swiftly deteriorates and amidst the biting wind and icy rain her coach is involved in an accident. Terrified by the howling storm and stumbling in the darkness she is rescued by Lord Strathcairn, who offers shelter at nearby Cairn Castle for the night. Believing she has found a kindred spirit in her new friend, Leona is devastated by his cold demeanour once he discovers that her true destination is his nearest neighbour, the Duke. Refusing to discuss his change of heart, Lord Strathcairn bids her farewell and arranges for her to leave his home at the earliest possible moment. Crossing the boundary into the Duke’s estate she sees the brutal eviction of some crofters and arrives at Ardness Castle angry and determined to confront her new protector. But immediately she is confused. How can the violence she witnessed have been done with the knowledge of the kindly man waiting to greet her? As the Duke lavishes money and attention on his guest, Leona begins to suspect that dark secrets are harboured within the bleak walls of Ardness and wishes she had never left the safety of Cairn Castle. Remembering Lord Strat cairn’s whispered promise to always help her, Leona knows that there is only one thing left to do she must find a way to reach him and escape Ardness Castle and the sinister Duke for ever.