Catriona's father is lost at sea, and her mother loses the will to live, leaving her with her Uncle, who wants to marry her to a much older, stern newcomer.
Cat is determined to escape, and does so with the help of her cousin. But she needs to hide from them all, until she can go to her father's Dutch family in Amsterdam.
Expert in fabric printing and making her own dyes, she persuades Rory Napier, struggling to manage his uncle's linen manufacturing in Glasgow, to employ her to supervise the new processes.
Though she is successful, their relationship is stormy. Can they succeed despite the problems and the rivalries?