After the death of his father, Elijah Bancroft returns from India to take up residence at Highclere, situated on the boundary with Winchester Park, the home of Zachary Sheridan, Duke of Winchester. Bancroft brings with him his younger sister—and a family secret big enough to trouble the government of the day. He seeks the duke’s help to establish himself and right some old wrongs.
Meanwhile agitators stir up unrest in the district. Joseph Phelton, an idealist and poet suffering from an unrequited love for the duchess’s niece Jessica, drunkenly accepts a commission that could destroy Zach’s happiness in a single cruel blow. Elijah’s eyes are drawn to Jessica too, and he vows to protect her as he struggles to clear his family name and restore his reputation.
Is Elijah stretching himself to thin? And can the duke and his brothers prevent a plot that could strike at the heart of the Sheridan family…