With her striking beauty, wit and poise, it is no wonder that Irish society believes Elizabeth Gunning to be of noble birth. Her mother expects her to take London by storm and make a spectacular marriage, but Elizabeth has already found her dream man, John Campbell, the Duke of Argyll. John is enchanted by the golden-haired girl but cannot make her his wife, because he knows she is a commoner. Driven apart by society's rules and her mother's ruthless ambition, Elizabeth marries the less-scrupulous Duke of Hamilton, who hides his brutal nature until after they are wed. Elizabeth survives his possessiveness and cruelty because of her inner strength and undying love for Campbell. It's a passion that begins to consume them both and endanger their lives should Hamilton ever discover their love.