Colonel Caleb Harrison, cavalry officer and war hero, is obliged to undertake dreary desk duties after a crashing fall at Waterloo leaves him permanently lame. When his old friend Amos Sheridan offers him the opportunity to train young horses on the Duke of Winchester’s estate, Cal jumps at the chance. At least on horseback he can still pretend to be a complete man.
Surprised at the ease with which the Foreign Department release him from his duties, Cal soon suspects that he has been manipulated when the Earl of Romsey, married to the duke’s sister, asks him to befriend a young woman who has just moved to the district. Her father is a senior diplomat in possession of sensitive information vital to British interests whom the Foreign Department have lost all contact with somewhere in China.
Petra Boyd and her sister Lucy reluctantly leave their home in Kent at the insistence of the Foreign Department and take up residence for the summer to a leased house in Shawford, a short distance from the Duke of Winchester’s palatial home. When a stranger daringly saves Petra from a crashing fall from her horse, she is immediately drawn to the taciturn Caleb Harrison, who seems to think his injured leg makes him less of a man. When questions arise in respect of her father’s loyalties Petra refuses to believe that he could possibly be a traitor. Working with Cal to prove it, Petra is equally determined to make Cal realise that his life didn’t end on the battlefield.
Can Cal save Petra from the forces of evil, even if he will never be man enough to act upon his growing feelings for the spirited young woman…