In 1558 young Frenchwoman Margarete and her maidservant Lise travel to Scotland so that Margarete can wed the forbidding Scottish landowner Colin McLean. Margarete has all the appearance of an innocent and well-born young woman, a respectable bride, but in his earliest moments of intimacy with her, McLean gets the unmistakable impression that she’s not so innocent in the bedroom as he might have supposed. Margarete owes the broadening of her personal experience to a relationship she dares not reveal, and that complication is complicated even further when Margarete and McLean actually begin to fall in love. Malec sketches in all the nuances of this emotional landscape with great care and elaborate historical detail in this multilayered novel. In a series of gradual and well-done scenes, Malec enhances Margarete’s personality as she more and more firmly becomes certain in her role as mistress of her new home. A very well-done novel of historical atmosphere and sexual awakening.