Grieving the death of her godfather and haunted by her cousin Cassie's betrayal, Barrie returns from a trip to San Francisco to find the Watson plantation under siege. Ghost-hunters hope to glimpse the ancient spirit who sets the river on fire each night, and reporters chase rumors of a stolen shipment of Civil War gold that may be hidden at Colesworth Place. The chaos turns dangerous as Cassie hires a team of archeologists to excavate beneath the mansion ruins. Because more than treasure is buried there.
A stranger filled with magic arrives at Watson's Landing claiming that the key to the Watson and Beaufort gifts--and the Colesworth curse--also lies beneath the mansion. With a mix of threats and promises, the man convinces Barrie and Cassie to cast a spell at midnight. But what he conjures may have deadly consequences.
While Barrie struggles to make sense of the escalating peril and her growing feelings for Eight Beaufort, it's impossible to know whom to trust and what to fight for--Eight or herself. Millions of dollars and the fate of the founding families is at stake. Now Barrie must choose between what she feels deep in her heart and what will keep Watson's Landing safe in this stunning addition to a series filled with "decadent settings, mysterious magic, and family histories rife with debauchery" (Kirkus Reviews, on Compulsion).