Living in poverty in the Kentish marshes, young Kate dreams of a life of abundance and riches in the castle that towers over her village. So when the beautiful Lady Evelyn descends, requesting Kate to be her personal maidservant at the castle, it looks like the first stage of a dream come true.But there are blackhearted men to contend with, evil in thought and deed, and they have a sophistication well beyond that of anyone Kate has encountered before. And when her one true love, Tom the fisherman, returns from sailing the seven seas, it is to a very different Kate from the one he left behind . . .