Renard, heir to Ravenstow, is a crusader in Antioch, a place far removed from the cold Welsh Marches of his birth. Summoned home to his ailing father, Renard brings Olwen with him, an exotic dancing girl whose sensuous beauty and wild ways have ensnared him. Yet, in a political match made by their families, Renard is already betrothed to the innocent Elene and he knows he is also returning to the duty of marriage. Torn between Olwen and Elene, Renard's personal dilemma is set against a background of increasing civil strife as Ranulf of Chester, his greedy neighbour, strives to snatch his lands. When Renard is taken prisoner at the Battle of Lincoln, his fate is placed in the hands of the two women - his former mistress, now in the bed of his deadliest enemy, and his determined yet inexperienced wife, protecting his lands against terrible odds ...