Emily Stapely is taking a few minutes break from her engagement party by strolling in her family's conservatory when Lucas Hunt appears. Luke is Emily's adoptive cousin, and he holds a terrible grudge against her family. Four years ago when Emily was sixteen, she thought she was in love with Luke, but he is twelve years her senior and he made it clear at the time that he wanted nothing to do with her, which broke her heart.
While Emily and Luke are talking in the conservatory, they overhear Emily's fiance and her sister talking. It's clear from their conversation that they are in love. Emily is shocked, and knows now that she cannot marry her fiance, but she's not sure how to end it without being humiliated. Luke appears to give her a way out by passionately kissing her in front of her father, rightly judging that she would rather be scorned than pitied. Lucas also knows he can use the situation to score a few points against Emily's father.
After a heated confrontation with Emily's parents, she leaves with Lucas, thinking he is taking her to his London flat. She awakens in his car a few hours later and is furious to find he's taking her to his remote home in Scotland. She wants to leave, but he blackmails her into staying by threatening to tell her father that they had an affair four years ago when she was just sixteen. While at his Scotland home, she begins to admit that she didn't really love her fiance, that she allowed her family to control her, and that she is still attracted to Luke. Lucas makes no secret of the fact that wants Emily, but she believes that he wants to seduce her in order to get revenge against her family. Emily eventually learns more about Luke, and why he holds a grudge against her family. She realizes that she's still in love with him, but she's afraid she can't trust him.
This report prepared by Susan Hughes