Lacey Ashton, unnoticed in the midnight shadows, fixed her hungry gaze upon Gabriel Kendrick, the most formidable of the ghosts she had come home to face. Gabe, who now despised her as much as he once loved her. Five years before, unmarried and forced to name the father of her expected child, Lacey had named another, which broke Gabe's heart, and he vowed never to let passion rule him again. Lacey, after bearing a stillborn child, was sent away. Gabe later married Lacey's cousin, Clara, a widow home from Scotland, and became stepfather to Clara's daughter, Bridget. Now that Clara has passed, Lacey wants a hand in raising Bridget. Surely a joyful relative is better for a child than a righteous, brooding stepfather.