Willful, vain and intelligent, Lady Catherine Lytton believes she is in full control of her destiny when she inherits a large fortune from her uncle.
The return of a distant kinsman, Adrian Stowe, the Earl of Halford, is a welcome relief from the monotony of the English countryside.
Adrian is handsome, enigmatic and, some say, mad. But then, what man would escape the grisly murder of mother, father and brother unscathed? He is also the last of his line, and yet seems to have no interest in his title or his wealth -- and no inclination to find a wife.
In fact, he doesn't seem to do anything that is expected of him; yet, in her pride, Catherine hardly thinks that the Earl will inspire an uncontrollable passion in her. Above all, she cannot imagine that it will be unrequited.
As she follows him to Constantinople, trying to unveil the mystery that surrounds him, she will learn the meaning of love, even as she seems about to lose everything that is precious.