Orphan Adele Beaumont spent her childhood being passed around to cruel or indifferent relatives. She quickly learned the harsh lesson that a fatherless, penniless girl becomes an unmarriageable woman, leaving her alone and vulnerable to the whims of society. Determined to take charge of her own fate, Del decides to pursue the only means to an independent life available to her: become a courtesan to wealthy and powerful men.
Rhys Camden has just turned twenty-one and is now employed as factotum in his father's shipping company. He is eager to find his place in the world, but he finds himself fighting against his father’s control as the elder Camden seeks to increase the family’s social standing to match their newfound wealth.
After a chance meeting on a foggy street, Del’s and Camden’s lives become increasingly intertwined. Their passion for each other ignites and, realizing there can be no true freedom without love, they vow to defy society and family and risk everything to be together. But they soon learn how dangerous that defiance can be.