Isabel Stanhope leads a double life. Her father, a favoured courtier of James I, expects her to marry a distant cousin, the gloriously elusive Francis Bourne. But during the tense English summer of 1605, Isabel is sent to stay with her devoutly Catholic grandmother. One morning, she witnesses the arrival of a stranger, the charismatic priest Peter Carisbroke, and falls immediately under his spell.
In the secretive and often violent world of the persecuted Catholic community, Isabel - torn between duty and a young woman's passionate, but forbidden, longing - struggles to make her choice. Eager for experience and love, she sets out on a journey which takes her from the temptation and treachery of Jacobean London to a Europe torn apart by war. But has Isabel made the right decision? Has she really followed her heart?
In this sumptuous, enthralling novel, Katherine McMahon portrays a fascinating, dangerous world of self-sacrifice, betrayal and intrigue, where the consequences of love turn life upside-down.