Following the breakdown of the Peace of Amiens in 1802, Napoleon retaliated against England's renewal of hostilities by holding as prisoners all British civilians in France at the time.
So it is in a foreign city and amidst the uneasy atmosphere of a country at war that a group of English families are unexpectedly brought together again and forced to make the best of their precarious situation.
At the centre of the unfolding drama is the growing love between Cary Vyner and Emily, Lady Royden - a love with its innocence and temptations as well as its doubts and reassurances. As their relationship develops, so too do the schemes and aspirations of Cary's Warstowe relatives who are intent on securing the Vyner inheritance for their own son.
Set against the backdrop of war-torn Europe, this is an elegant Regency romance in the tradition of Georgette Heyer.