Heart of Shadows (Heart of a Highlander 1) by Rebecca Ruger

Orphaned Isabel Fitzhugh is fourteen when she first comes to Wolvesley by the sea, traveling with her cousin to see her wed to the formidable Liam MacTavish. She’s unimpressed, with both her current situation and her cousin’s husband. She thinks he is aloof and arrogant, well deserving of her cousin. But then Liam intercedes on her behalf against a mean-spirited tormentor and everything changes. He becomes a hero to young Isabel, one to whose memory she clings when he is gone.

Liam MacTavish is quite happy to ride away from his new bride in the spring of 1296, thrilled to rise to the defense of his beloved Scotland. He doesn’t return for five long years, many of those spent in an English prison, renounced by his own father, left to rot. He finds Wolvesley not at all as he remembered, derelict and all but abandoned, save for the redoubtable Isabel—whom he barely recalls—and an improbable cast of characters.

Both Liam and Isabel are tormented by grim shadows from Wolvesley’s past. Isabel’s fierce independence and easy smiles hide a far greater tragedy than Liam can ever imagine; Liam’s savage mien and coldness suggest he knows nothing else. And yet they are drawn to each other. Can they overcome the past, leaving behind the cruelty caused to each of them by the same person?