Out of the blue, Grace is granted a boon. She inherits a house in the tiny village of Oak Stanton, a place where nobody knows her and, Grace wonders, whether this is her chance to start afresh; a new life far away from her tormentor, and the malicious whispers of the ton.
Arriving in Oak Stanton, Grace becomes acquainted with Giles and Billie Trevallier, the Earl and Countess of Winchester, and Theo Elliott ~ the doctor for this little hamlet ~ their warm welcome, a balm to her aching soul.
Theo knows of Grace and is intrigued to meet the woman whom Society treated so harshly. A budding friendship between the two soon blossoms into something far more enduring but, for them to have any chance at happiness, Grace knows she must share her darkest secret with Theo, expecting that once it is revealed, he too will condemn her. Theo, however, is no fair-weather suitor and, already irrevocably in love with Grace, is resolved to be the man to unlock her heart.
Unfortunately, just as a fairy tale ending seems within reach, a chance encounter precipitates a chain of events that will have tragic consequences. Determined to reclaim what he considers his prize, the duke has one of his henchmen follow Grace, tracing her to her new home and jeopardising her longed-for happiness. After a failed kidnap attempt, the duke’s quest culminates in an acrimonious confrontation with Grace and suddenly the reason for his venal pursuit of her becomes agonisingly clear.