It is 1700 and Deborah Horden jumps at the chance to escape her unexciting life at Horden Hall in Northumberland and travel to Europe with her brother when he and his French wife go to visit her family.
Although thrilled by every new experience and with eyes open for an interesting man Deborah becomes worried that her brother might be drawn into a Jacobite rebellion hatching on French soil. A mysterious Monsieur le Vent flirts with her but she finds his comings and goings very sinister. When she meets an English Lord of short stature, whose father had been in the navy with her father, she dismisses the possibility of an attraction because of the discrepancy in their heights. Foiling her brother’s activities, however, becomes her top priority.
The novel vividly evokes eighteenth century Europe and the trials of a family caught up in political events.