For the men and women of the battered pilgrim vessel Iona, members of the Holy Order of St. Brigid and St. Brendan, it was the last chance.

Even with survival at stake, they must obey their holy order's rule: they cannot invade, they must be invited to land. And they don't know enough to be sure of wangling a welcome.

The Holy Captain Abbess Dierdre Cardinal Fitzgerald sends Seamus O'Neil as a spy. A spy? Seamus is a crack soldier, a second-rate bard, and a young man looking for love, but a diplomat he isn't.

The land is beautiful, and the women are lovely and loving-except for gorgeous, chilly Marjetta-but a paradise it isn't.

In fact, the land is more dangerous than Seamus could have imagined. It will be a miracle if he and Marjetta keep their skins intact-much less pull off a landing for the Iona.