Young, intelligent and privileged, Cordelia Birdwhistle's future is golden as granddaughter of the wealthy importer, John Maxwell. But when her beloved grandfather dies suddenly, her childhood ends and the money is abruptly gone. Forced to quit the family home, Cordelia and her grandmother, Agnes, find themselves living on the charity of Agnes' brother on the Bryde Estate. With her closest friend at sea, Cordelia struggles with her grandfather's last request of her. Will she marry James Riddell or will she pursue her handsome, but infuriating, new neighbour?