At the age of twenty-one, Nicholas Price has the world at his feet. He has just graduated from Oxford, he is heir to his father's title and fortune, and he is about to meet Ada Byron, the daughter of his idol Lord Byron. His life falls apart, however, when an attempted elopement with Ada ends in disaster, resulting in his disinheritance. Destitute, he takes up residency in his mother's country estate, which is on the brink of ruin.
Ten years later, now a cynical misanthrope, Nicholas receives a visit from Catherine O'Reilly. Catherine once assisted Nicholas in obtaining access to Ada, and as she has also been cast out by her father, she has come to Nicholas for shelter. Catherine has been raped and is pregnant, but refuses to name her rapist. Nicholas agrees to take her on as a maid, but focuses all of his attention on winning Ada back. It is his eccentric brother James who can see through the submissive servant to the fiery, passionate woman within.
When more encounters with Ada end badly, it is Catherine who opens Nicholas's eyes to see how far he has taken his obsession with Byron. It is also she who helps him nurture his poetry, and to see the blessings around him in spite of his financial ruin. Soon Nicholas cannot resist falling into a love triangle involving Catherine and James, all of them unaware that the secret Catherine is harboring is about to shatter the fragile world Nicholas has managed to forge.
Thanks to my wonderful friend TK Toppin for a fabulous cover design!