This first story tells of Anne Cooper, the acknowledged bastard daughter of the Earl of Warwickshire. The Earl would never have taken a mistress if his unloving wife hadn't spurned his bed for fear of dying in childbed after having a difficult first birth with her daughter Mary. But his wife refuses to relent, and in time, the Earl comes to love his mistress and their children and takes care to have the children well educated. Though Anne was raised as a servant in her father's house (think Cinderella), and is resented by the Earl's wife, Anne has become a young woman of grace and intelligence. When her father decides to arrange the marriage of Anne’s legitimate half sister Mary (by proxy) to the Scottish Earl of Alcaon, Brodick McJames, Mary and her mother plot to send Anne to Scotland instead of Mary since she has no desire to bear a child. The plan is for Anne to get pregnant and then return to England, and then they will substitute Mary for Anne. Anne resists the deception, and is only persuaded to go along with it when her mother and siblings are threatened. Once in Scotland, Anne finds she respects Brodick and his clan. Their physical relationship becomes quite special, and (no surprise), they fall in love.
You will enjoy this story of two wonderful people falling in love in a time when James VI, son of Mary Queen of Scots, ruled Scotland. It's a triumph of love over legitimacy. I recommend it.