When Abigail Mitchell is a little girl her father, John, inherits a large estate in Cornwall from his uncle He chooses to move his family from their comfortable home in Whitby to the rugged Cornish coast, in the hope of securing a more prosperous future. John soon incurs the opposition and wrath of their neighbours, the Gainsfords, a powerful old Cornish family.
As Abigail blossoms into a young lady she finds herself mixing socially with the young set and is attracted to the dashing Luke Gainsford. She agrees to marry him in spite of his rakish reputation and her father's objections to the match.
Abigail soon realises that she should have heeded her father's warnings when she uncovers Luke's secret dealings that threaten her life even after she flees to the Yorkshire coast.