In 1770 Heloise Edwina Marchant has been forced to leave her former life as a Lady on her father's country estate, and is now known as "Ed" in the alleys and streets of St. Giles. Her father is dead, under mysterious circumstances, and
her uncle had promised her in marriage to a rich aristocrat, an evil man who is old enough to be her grandfather. Feeling she had no other means
of escaping the match, she has run away to avoid him and the marriage contract he made despite her pleas.
When she is caught with her hand on the watch of a handsome aristocrat, she tries to run but he captures her easily and forces her to return his watch and, because the 'lad' looks so frail, to join him in a meal. Adam Rycroft is a rich, professional and popular painter who has recently inherited the title of Earl of Taplow, along with the wealth and estates that title entails. He is searching for his nephew who was taken from his home, hoping that there is information to be found about young Toby among the cutthroats and harlots of St Giles.
He offers the 'boy' money to track down any information he can find, and they agree to meet in a few days. Later that night Adam sees Ed being attacked in the street by Jack, the man who showed her the way to make enough money to stay alive and who holds her in his power with threats, forcing her into the life of crime she lives. Adam rescues her and takes her to his friend for safety, but when Ed's disguise is stripped from her he is able to see the haunting beauty of her face and form.
With no where to go that is safe for her she agrees to let him take her to his London studio to live so that he can paint her portrait, and he offers her a promise of enough money to get her to France to search for other relatives who may be able to help her.
Their attraction to each other is almost immediate but their pasts have crossed before even though they are not aware of it and the future holds danger when Jack says he will make Ed pay for leaving him. When he follows them to Adam's estate he threatens both their lives and their love. When Jack finally reaps his revenge both Edwina and Adam find themselves in deadly danger.
This report prepared by joanne losito