Fenice d'Aix and Aubery of Ilmer both had unhappy first marriages. Both had guilty secrets related to those marriages, but each found in the other what had been lacking in their first union. Each longed for the passionate love offered by their new partners. Nonetheless, neither dared expose their hidden secrets lest they lose everything.
The hidden deceptions make Aubery's political duties more hazardous. Having failed twice in his attempts to kill Aubery, an old enemy decides to violate and then murder Fenice as his only fit revenge. Fenice's abduction makes truth a necessity between Fenice and Aubery. But it is not until he loses Fenice that Aubery's pride bends enough to allow him to declare his love...almost too late.