Miranda Jarvis and her younger sister find themselves without means in the middle of winter. In a desperate attempt to steal food from a country estate, they are caught and taken under the care of the owner, James Fenmore – unaware that the seemingly respectable middle-aged gentleman heads the smuggling network in the district. Sir James has no scruples.
Fletcher Taunt, James’s estranged and (mostly) honest nephew inherits the adjoining estate, one James covets. James begins to plot to relieve Fletcher of it, despite its reputation of being haunted by a monk.
When Miranda and Fletcher meet they fall in love . . . but the scheming James has made other plans for Miranda.
Past intrigue has kept Fletcher in ignorance of his parentage. He discovers that his father is alive - and living as part of a monastic colony in France. Adrian Taunt is half-brother to James – a man who’d failed in an attempt to kill him. With the return of his memory, the time has come for Adrian to regain his title, take his revenge and get to know the son he’s never seen.
The sisters’ curiosity leads them into trouble. James hides the younger girl in a coffin in the church crypt and Miranda’s life hangs by a thread while she attempts to rescue her. But James underestimates the resourcefulness of Fletcher.