When the luxury spaceliner carrying Crown Princess Cerelia across the Galactic Empire is attacked by space pirates, she is forced to flee for her life in the company of the ship's captain, Jefferson Rydel. Having left behind her home and family forever to marry the man she has chosen to succeed her father as Emperor, her disappearance throws the Imperial succession into question and destabilizes the Empire.
As she struggles to adapt to a harsh and challenging environment completely unlike the refined, sophisticated, and comfortable world she has always known, she discovers again and again that Captain Rydel is not what she thought he was.
Has he really uncovered the secret of Earth, its location lost in the passage of time and regarded by most as a myth? It would be a discovery to rock the very foundations of the Empire, its fourteen worlds each having been selected and terraformed to resemble as closely as possible humanity's supposed original home. Or is he nothing but an unprincipled charlatan exploiting the hopes of millions?
Whoever he is, she has no choice but to accept his help. As they fight to stay ahead of the forces trying so desperately to kill her, and to stop the plot against the Imperial throne, she begins to wonder if she has found what she always longed for but never believed she would find--a man she can truly love without turning her back on the duty she was born to fulfill...