In 1840s Cornwall, 25-year-old Sarah Govier supports herself and her illegitimate son, Jory, on the income from Talvan, the granite quarry she inherited from her father. But businessman Kinser Landry has good reason for wanting Talvan and will stop at nothing to get it. Her problems mounting, Sarah turns in desperation to James Crago, a gunpowder manufacturer whose land adjoins hers. After twenty years as soldier and diplomat in India, Crago, 37, has returned home, his face horrifically scarred, a wound sustained during his attempt to help the girl he loved escape a despotic raja. Local reaction to his appearance has turned him into a recluse. Rejected by society, emotionally bruised and deeply wary, neither James nor Sarah is prepared for the powerful attraction that draws them ever closer. But as others plot against them, can they overcome the past and find the courage to love again?