The Honourable Lydia Carpenter is at her wit’s end. Since her brother, Harry, died in the war against Napoleon Bonaparte, she has been living with her younger sisters and their governess in the family home and desperately trying to make ends meet. Their father, Lord Balgowan, has not returned to Scotland since the death of his heir and he seldom sends funds. Liddy has sold everything of value and has no idea what to do next. Then she decides, with the help of a groom, to resurrect a local smuggling ring. It is imperative that their neighbour Lord Pittenmuir know nothing of her exploits, for not only has he broken her heart but also - he is the local magistrate.
The smuggling venture is a success and Lord Pittenmuir returns home, not only to stop the smuggler but also to unmask a French spy he is sure is travelling in and out of France with The Arbroath Ladies.
Badly injured in the battle that cost his best friend, Harry Carpenter, his life, Lord Pittenmuir tries to explain his absence to Lydia but she remains frosty. To unmask the spy, Lord Pittenmuir becomes a smuggler – in woman’s clothing, only to discover that his beloved Lydia – in man’s clothing – is not only the leader of the smugglers, but very probably the spy.
Will the tangled webs ever be disentangled as treachery and death stalk the cliffs?