The stranger is huge-dark and for­bid­ding. But to hon­or a deathbed promise to her fos­ter father, Kailey Hewett must mar­ry Simon de Marchand, the king’s sher­iff, an intim­i­dat­ing mys­tery of a man. As they ride away from her home and all she holds dear, Kailey won­ders how she can keep her pledge to give this stern man his “heart’s peace”-but she vows to cre­ate a new fam­i­ly, no mat­ter what it takes.


This mar­riage was sup­posed to be a final repa­ra­tion for his part in her father’s long-ago death-noth­ing more. But as Kailey’s gen­er­ous heart caus­es her to gath­er a “fam­i­ly” of endear­ing mis­fits around them, Simon unex­pect­ed­ly finds the walls of his own heart slow­ly crum­bling. By his own harsh sense of jus­tice, though, Simon can nev­er allow him­self to accept what he most wants, her for­give­ness, and believes he doesn’t deserve the love Kailey offers so freely, a tor­ture as much a plea­sure. But as the small, lion-heart­ed woman whips a huge, stun­ning­ly resis­tant man into an accep­tance of love, he final­ly learns that mer­cy is as impor­tant as jus­tice-and love and for­give­ness can heal all. 


A pas­sion­ate, heart-wrench­ing tale of hon­or and jus­tice, loy­al­ty and betray­al, and love and for­give­ness.” Romantic Times Magazine, April 1998

AMAZON — Heart-wrench­ing!
Oh man, what a heart-wrench­ing sto­ry. By halfway through it I was head-over-heels in love with Simon (tru­ly a hero!) & total­ly dread­ing what was to come for him. By Jojo “jojook­la” — May 14, 2003

AMAZON — Poignant and Emotional
The five stars are giv­en on the strength of the last few chap­ters alone, which is a roller­coster ride of emo­tions. This is tru­ly a touch­ing book about a man who, to flee from a hor­ri­fy­ing guilt in his past, bury him­self in hon­our and jus­tice, becom­ing one of the King’s most loy­al and fair mag­is­trate. It is also about a woman, whose past is inter­twined with the man’s, a woman who flees the lone­li­ness of her life by tak­ing in strays and mak­ing them her fam­i­ly. 
… After read­ing this I had to take a deep breath and read­just my equi­lib­ri­um. This is how pow­er­ful the impact of this book has on me. It left me drained, yet a feel­ing of well-being that could only come from a very good book lin­gered. By A Customer — June 17, 1998

Linda Needham has writ­ten a won­der­ful love sto­ry made more spe­cial because it is a love based on evolv­ing trust. Humor, sad­ness and laugh­ter are intri­cate­ly woven into the plot and the three-dimen­sion­al char­ac­ters will steal your heart.”  4 (Excellent) –Romantic Times Magazine

A coura­geous hero­ine and a strong, yet ten­der-heart­ed hero make this a mem­o­rable read.” Editors Recommended Book,  Romance Expert, Amazon.com