All that changes when outlaws, led by O'Neill himself, ransack her farm and take her hostage.
Meg is surprised O'Neill is not the devil incarnate painted in the tales. He's handsome and charming, and apparently taken a liking to her. During her captivity among the impoverished Irish natives, Meg begins seeing them in a new light. O'Neill claims to only be driving out the Scottish usurpers, the true invaders. Could it be that the tales of him are wrong, and her growing feelings for him are real?
Meg fears it can never work between them. Shane is an Irish Catholic with a price on his head. She is a proper Scottish Presbyterian, loyal to the English crown. She can never betray her family, and he will never give up his crusade. If he's caught, O'Neill will go to the gallows. Any hope of a life together faces impossible ends.