Handsome and brilliant, Pierre Boucheron is the darling of glamorous Parisian high society. Casually cruel, he leaves a score of lovelorn women behind, until he meets Madeleine, the young Countess de L'Orme, and discovers a love so pure it makes a mockery of his past affairs.
Zélie du Chaumet, until that moment his mistress, is now cast aside like all the others. But she has the perfect instrument of revenge – his past.
Her thirst for vengeance haunts Pierre through the streets of Paris, from the height of luxury to the despair of poverty, dragging him further and further into the gutter. Shunned by polite society, rejected by the underworld he was once a part of, his future with Madeleine seems an impossible dream – can he escape his nemesis before it destroys him completely…?
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.