Yesterday she was an English earl's wife, eagerly anticipating a glorious victory over the upstart Scots and a new home on a Scottish estate. Today she's a widow, hostage of the Scottish king, watched over by the most unusual and reluctant of guardians. For years he was a warrior monk who fought for his beloved church. Today he's simply a weary warrior with a haunted past and a price on his head. And he has no clue how to care for the group of female hostages entrusted to him after battle-especially the sad-eyed widow with the golden braid. The two of them weave an unlikely friendship and an even unlikelier love. She returns to England to protect a family inheritance. He stays to wrestle the demons of his past. But when danger looms, he'll have to face his deepest fears to come to her aid. Even more difficult is living with the hope she has sparked in him after a lifetime of bitterness. After years of failure and faithlessness...could he still bear THE MARK OF SALVATION?