William Nicholas Bayard was a terror while alive. Now that he is considered dead, he has promised himself to God, to atone for his sins (of being a fierce warrior to the exclusion of all else). Before he enters the monastery, however, he has sworn to rebuild the chapel in his castle / keep, as a monument to his dead son. Liam, and the rest of William's village, over which he was lord, died as a result of the black death. Only William survived, and yet he is rumoured dead.
Lady Eleanor has made her way to the castle that is now hers, following the death of the husband she never met. She finds it abandoned and in ruins, but has already set plans in motion to see to it's repopulation and renovation. She discovers 'Nicholas' there, who claims to have known her husband and appoints him as her steward. Nicholas wants to rebuild the chapel as quickly as he can, to escape the warm enticement of life and laughter offered by 'William's wife.
The primary enjoyment of the book for me was that it was the story of redemption. Nicholas has been through hell, has suffered through incredible trauma and loss, and has emerged a better man than William ever was. Eleanor can see and appreciate that, even before she knows who he is.
It's an enjoyable book, if a little over long in my view - there is no hidden plot or subtext here, so from time to time the story does seem to drag out. Nevertheless, for the interest of a book set in so unusual a period, it is an interesting and heartwarming read.