Penniless and alone in the world, Corrie knows that life must have more to offer than drudgery in a bleak Cornish orphanage, and fending off the unwelcome advances of unscrupulous Ezra Follett. In her desperation to fund her escape, she even turns to highway robbery, and is horrified when her victim appears bearing news for her.
Newly returned from the Napoleonic wars, Raul Beringer discovers that the legacy of his late father's wine business in Madeira is not a straightforward business. As well as contending with the enmity of his younger brother, Maynard, he has just learnt that the company now belongs in part to a unknown English girl.
Under the terms of his father's will, whoever makes the most profit from their inheritance in a year gains overall control of the company. The battle commences but is there more than money at stake?