Once upon a time, in a far, strange land (1883 west Texas, to be precise), there arrived from back East a beautiful and headstrong young princess... um... I mean, scientist named Dorcas Jeffries. Hardly more than a girl, really, but she had the courage of an Amazon and a heart as big as her intellect. To save another girl, named Flora, from an arranged marriage to this presumably wicked prince (well, a Laird, anyway) called Alan MacAllister, Dorcas switches places with her, expecting, naturally enough, that the awful Alan’s Highland Scots family (who happen to live in a full-scale medieval castle) will release her the moment she confesses she’s not Flora. Only—and this is the annoying part—Alan’s family is, actually, more interested in A bride than they are in a specific bride.... “Florrie or Dorie—’tis such a wee dif’rence”... In other words, they keep her—fussing and fuming, kicking, clawing, biting, punching and screaming, notwithstanding.
And Alan, himself—who turns out to have wanted Flora even less than Flora wanted him—decides that he does want Flora’s replacement. He decides this on first sight, in fact. And one can scarcely blame him, because that first sight was a lulu. It was the sight of said replacement—who had just escaped a tower by way of a tree that snagged off most of her clothes on the climb down—leaping wildly out of that tree in her unmentionables. Very interesting. Something to make a man stop and think. Catching her in his arms, he thinks he may be in love.
Numerous battles and embraces, some bloodcurdling adventures, and an emotional triathlon later, Dorcas is beginning to think the same thing. Now all she has to do is solve a 12-year-old murder, prevent a new one, and save herself and Alan from a horrifying family legacy. There’s always something, isn’t there?...