Cornwall, 1793: as the French Revolution threatens the stability of England, so too is discontent brewing in the heart of Celia Cavendish. Promised to the brutal Viscount Vallenforth to fulfil her own father's ends, she must find a way to break free from bounds of a life stifled by convention and cruelty. Inspired by her cousin Arbella, who just a few months earlier followed her heart and eloped with the man she loved, she vows to escape her impending marriage and take her destiny back into her own hands. She enlists her neighbors, Sir James and Lady Polcarrow, who have themselves made a dangerous enemy of Celia's father, in the hope of making a new life for herself. But can the Polcarrows' mysterious friend Arnaud, captain of their cutter L'Aigrette, protect Celia from a man who will let nothing stand in the way of his greed? And will Arnaud himself prove to be friend . . . or foe?