Emily Bradley, an orphan born in a brothel in a small English town in 1784, flees after her first forced encounter with a client, Lord Charles Stanford. Five years later, Lord Charles tracks her down and forces her into marriage in order to manipulate her and their son to secure his legacy.
Emily must deny everything she is and loves, her art and her country life, to keep the truth from his aristocratic family and avoid stirring Lord Charles’ volatile and destructive temper.
When offered a commission to paint a portrait of Empress Joséphine Bonaparte at the Royal French Court, Emily finally sees a chance to break free from her miserable life – but it means forming an alliance with the enemy of England, potentially exposing her secrets and losing her son.
Emily is now forced to make the hardest choice of her life – a choice where her fate, dreams and future, hang in the balance…