Halley's Comet night at Winterscombe in 1910 ends with a violent death which throws a giant shadow over three generations of the Cavendish dynasty.
At the centre of events is the beautiful and dangerous Constance, who casts a spell - which may be a curse - on all the sons of the family.
Following the destruction of two World Wars - and the passions, deceits and hatreds of the intervening peace - it is the coruscating power of Constance's personality, and the sinister secret at the heart of her life, which will determine if Victoria, last of the Cavendishes, is to inherit happiness or misery.
British author Titchmarsh (Rosie) brings the art world alive in this engaging romantic drama. In 2007, James Jamie Ballantyne reconnects with childhood chum and flame, Artemis Missy King, who resurfaces in the showroom of Jamie s auction house in Bath to bid on a painting on behalf of her grandfather. The reunited couple discover that a set of paintings by Sir Alfred James Munnings, owned by Missy s grandfather (himself owner of an established fine art gallery), are fakes. Their investigation reveals a long thread of family secrets and the source of the feud between their two families, revelations that cause the couple to split up. Titchmarsh alternates between the present and the story of Jamie s grandfather, Harry Ballantyne, and Missy s grandmother, Eleanor King, who met as art students at Oxford. The effect is nostalgic and builds anticipation and curiosity in the history of the two families, including the story behind the lost love of their grandparents.