In 1661, Arden West runs away from an abusive Puritan stepfather with the goal of becoming one of the first actresses of the London stage. One of the first people she meets is the jaded and sensual aristocrat Robert Courtenay, and sparks fly hot and fast between them. Will he help or harm her new career? Will she give up her quest for fame for him? Will he give up his arranged betrothal for her? Will her stepfather succeed in dragging her back to his peculiar brand of torment? And what of Charles II's desire to make Arden his royal mistress? Royal intrigue, assassination plots, ghosts, and kidnappings are among the obstacles standing in the way of Arden and Robert's chances for happiness.