Odile Aspen has no recollection of her life before being enrolled as a bewildered ten-year-old at Miss Mackenzie’s Academy for Young Ladies. Upon graduating to a teaching post, a dull, repetitive routine is all she has to look forward to, until she unexpectedly inherits a derelict house and a huge sum of money with which to maintain it.
Odile doesn’t hesitate to rise to a challenge, and the opportunity to delve into her mysterious past. Her nearest neighbour, Ruben Emory, the elegant and highly-eligible Earl of Amberley, is anxious to purchase Fox Hollow, the eyesore on the perimeter of his property that has remained derelict for years, but Odile isn’t willing to sell. He’s drawn to the intensely private young woman and involves himself in her quest to find answers. Who is she and what right does she have to the house?
Sarah Farquhar, his mother’s goddaughter, is convinced that Ruben is in love with her and that they will soon be married. Incensed by his interest in someone as inconsequential as Odile, she goes to extreme lengths to eliminate the competition.
Can Ruben save Odile from the vindictive, unbalanced Sarah, help her find the key to her mysterious background and save her from those queuing up to exploit her…