No trust without truth. Fleeing his murderous brother-in-law, Vicont Yveni, heir to the Duchy of Sardelsa, seeks safety abroad until he can reclaim his birthright. Instead he ends up shipwrecked, captured and taken to the one country where he dare not reveal his identity. Worse, he's just been bought by a man with no love for Sardelsa. Ripped from his family as a child and sold into slavery, Paole's natural gift for healing made him a valuable asset but did little to shield him from abuse and prejudice. Though he's now free, for the first time in his life he's alone-and he hates it. All he wanted was an apprentice and traveling companion in this hostile land. Instead he winds up the unintentional owner of a slave with a mulish attitude...and a suspicious history. Yveni dares not tell the truth about who he is, and Paole refuses to trust him until he comes clean. The battle of wills only serves to heat up a sizzling attraction that throws a new complication into the mix: love. Paole wants acceptance. Yveni wants his birthright. Even if they manage to come to an understanding, forces are gathering against them that could tear them apart forever... Warning: Virginal angsting, interminable UST, and tender loving.