Trapped in a life of 1820s drudgery in her brother’s tavern, Heather Grey is desperate to escape not only the bleak future of the rural English inn but the brutish attentions of the lout who is determined to marry her. When her brother is found dead, there is even more reason to flee, and she and her upper-class friend Julia make plans.
In the wilderness of British North America, Dr. William MacTavish makes a wager with his brother Jamie, a ship’s captain, that he can’t find him the perfect assistant—strong for farm work, clever for learning medicine, and literate to keep the doctor’s accounts. He forgets to specify that the assistant should be male.
When Jamie returns with a tavern wench wanted for murder back in England and her wild but high-born friend, the good doctor sees only charges of abduction and nooses around both his and Jamie’s necks as a future.