As the eldest of four daughters, American heiress Emmaline Nesbitt has always understood that she is obliged to wed. But no proposals have so far come her way, until at a ball in her family home she meets Julius, a handsome and charming Englishman who wastes no time in proposing to her. Shortly after, Emmaline sails to England for her wedding. What awaits her on arrival is a long way from her expectations. She is brought to a strange house full of odd guests and eccentric servants - a far cry from the fine home Julius had promised - as well as a very different Julius. As the days go by, her fiance changes beyond recognition, so much so that Emmaline believes there is no future to their relationship. But that is before Julius's past, and the history of his family and background make themselves plain to her.