Lord Robert, Norman ruler of the most north-easterly region of England, spares the life of Emma, the pregnant widow of an Anglo-Saxon rebel. When his wife dies in childbirth, he asks Emma to become nurse to his own child at Danburgh Castle.
On arrival at the castle, Emma discovers that the widowed Lord Robert is already promised to Fiona, the daughter of a Scottish thane. This arrangement does not, however, prevent Lord Robert from making advances towards his nurse. Emma resists Lord Robert’s attentions, but finds she is increasingly having to deny her own desires in order to do so. Lady Fiona, suspicious of Robert’s affection for Emma, tries to dismiss her from his service, but when he objects to this, she stipulates that Emma can remain at Danburgh only if she agrees to her terms and conditions: Emma must be guarded like a prisoner.
Should Emma choose freedom, forsaking Lord Robert, or is it worth risking her fate at the hands of Lady Fiona in order to remain in Danburgh Castle?