Juliana Telford does not set out seeking such an extreme example of adventure when she leaves her aunt and uncle’s home in a huff after an argument with her cousin, Carrie, but somehow the intrepid eighteen-year-old attracts trouble without trying very hard. Fearing the lack of rescue while at the same time worried about what form the aid will take, Juliana feels both relief and mortification when two young men arrive on the scene at St. Ives Head. After a comical exchange which shall not get spoiled here, Juliana escapes peril and all parties agree if they come upon each other in society, they will act as though they have never met.
Back at Grays Hill Park, Juliana focuses her thoughts on the upcoming season in London, which she plans to use primarily as a cover for her efforts to find a publisher for an academic article she and her father have written on a particular species of lady beetle.
Meanwhile, Spencer Northam, one half of Juliana’s rescue team from the aforementioned unfortunate accident, has his own reasons for wishing to keep his presence at St. Ives hidden—as a spy for the War Office, he suspects the men of the Pyebald family of selling secrets to the French, and the cliff overlooking the water proves a perfect vantage point from which to observe the comings and goings at Ryston Manor.