Shanna needs a husband or she'll be forced to marry someone her father chooses. She comes up with the idea of marrying a condemned prisoner. Then once he is hanged she'll be a widow in mourning and will have her freedom.
But Ruark manages to cheat the hangman and finds himself an indentured servant, a bondsman to Shanna's father. Ruark quickly becomes the most valued of bondsmen much to Shanna's chagrin. She cheated Ruark of his wedding night and he's determined she should pay him his due.
This book is like driving across America. There are a lot of great things to see, but it takes so damned long. Despite the length, the book which was written nearly 40 years ago stands up well. The quality of the writing and the editing are things you just don't see very much these days. The ending was a little ridiculous. I mean the guy who murdered the woman Ruark was accused of killing happens to be the Knight who is courting Shanna. The husband of the woman is Shanna's maid's long lost love...yeah, and a dozen more strings neatly tied into a bow, but overall it's a great book.(Group Read with Tuelle and Rockelle)