A ruby pendant stands at the center of this tale of disgrace, plotting, redemption, and the reunion of childhood friends. Aldwin Treynarde is a squire who, in his youth, was banished from home for shooting Lord Geoffrey de Lanceau with a crossbow bolt and nearly killing the man. Later on, Aldwin discovered that he had been set up by the deceitful Baron Sedgewick, who fed him false stories about the lord's wrongdoings. Now, several years later, Lord Geoffrey sends out a call for volunteers to find a stolen, valuable jeweled pendant before it falls into the hands of the Baron and his wife Veronique. Aldwin accepts at once and hopes to make amends to Lord Geoffrey. If he excels in his duty, he hopes he might even be awarded knighthood. Meanwhile, Lady Leona Ransley and her aging father, who have possession of the pendant, want only to turn it in anonymously and collect the reward money. Under an assumed name, Leona arranges for a secret meeting with Aldwin in a seedy tavern, and, making yet another rash decision, Aldwin decides to kidnap her. She fights furiously against him and finally reveals her true identity: she and he had once been great companions. In fact, Aldwin had nearly caused her death 12 years earlier when they disturbed a bees' nest during a childhood game. By this point, the feckless squire desires his warrior captive more than any woman he has ever met, and he knows he has one last chance to protect her life. Only by settling the events of their past and fighting side by side will Aldwin and Leona be able to defeat their opponents and surrender to their greatest temptation—love.