Welcome to the scandalous world of 1889, New York City. The Industrial Revolution has gone underway and changes are appearing everywhere. But for rich, upper-class Elizabeth Parker, life is the same as it always had been. Until her good friend Lorena Howard is found floating in the river; dead.
Lorena's death brings about a whirlwind of changes. First, Frederich Griffin, New York's favored heartthrob, is back. After spending four years in Pennsylvania, studying at University of Pennsylvania (and causing quite a few scandals), he's prepared for his takeover of Griffin Enterprise, the world's largest manufacturer of coal. But his father gives him an ultimatum after he attacks a man at a bar in a fit of rage. Marry Elizabeth Parker and then inherit the company, or be disowned. Forever.
Next comes Charlotte Stone, the beautiful debutante who inexplicably decided to move to France when she was thirteen, is back, and more enigmatic than ever. Her sole purpose of returning? Keep Frederich and Elizabeth apart because she knows something about them that they don't....
And then what about the mysterious Grace Hawlings from South Carolina that seems to have captured Frederich's heart? With jet black hair, icy blue eyes and a fondness of the color red, she's an almost identical replica of Lorena. She claims her family is a large producer of cotton yet nobody's even heard of a Hawlings family.
Just when Lorena's death was going to be ruled as an accident, police arrested Thomas O'Connell, a newly arrived Irish immigrant who was supposedly around at the time of the murder. But Elizabeth knows it wasn't him. Someone else was there that night, and Elizabeth's determined to find out who.
It's up to her, and solely her, to bring justice to the true killer. Thrust in a world of lies, deception and secrets that are determined to stay hidden, it's up to Elizabeth to find the truth.....before Lorena's murderer gets to her too.