Penniless and homeless, Damaris Tilghman answers wealthy planter Matthew Pope's challenge and agrees to become his wife. Her dreams of helping manage a large and profitable plantation are shattered when she discovers that the beautiful slave, Zoe, has complete control over the other slaves. More than that, Zoe also shares her master's bed.
Damaris concentrates on winning over the slaves and raising her son, Matty. Pope ignores both his wife and son until Matty is old enough to be sent off to school. He hires a tutor, Simon Deveraux, to prepare the boy.
Simon strikes up a friendship with Damaris, and seeing how confined her life is, urges her to run away once Matty is gone. Pope discovers the plot and sends Simon off. He promises to be a better husband, but is caught up in his web of lies and Damaris cannot believe him, even when he sends Zoe off.
Then Zoe returns and is accused of murder. Damaris knows the charges are false, but Zoe has made too many enemies. Will her hold over her master save her, or will the truth shatter everything Damaris has come to hope for and believe in? Matthew Pope is not the man she thought he was.
And Damaris isn't the woman she thought she was. Both have to face their pasts before they can trust in the future.