At war with Revolutionary France, England turns its eyes to the ships and men of the British Navy to keep the country safe from invasion. A year into the war, Captain Edward Trewin brings his battle-scarred frigate into Portsmouth for repairs. Edward and his crew may rightly be celebrated as heroes, but his private life seems to be falling apart. He is bitterly estranged from his wife Julia, who so resented his departure for the service that she’s refused to write him a single letter in the entire time he’s been away. In the circumstance, Edward isn’t eager to return to his home in Cornwall.
Ashore for the foreseeable future, he is not in the best of spirits when he’s invited to stay with his old commanding officer, Admiral Heywood. Grateful to be in unexpectedly welcoming surroundings, in time he finds himself drawn to Miss Caroline Heywood, the Admiral’s neglected but capable daughter. For her part, Caroline realizes her life is not exactly what she’s always assumed. What transpires in the Heywood household — and in Cornwall, for that matter — may or may not be predictable, but it changes everything. Not only Edward but also two very different yet remarkable women are caught up in a tangle of love, honor, and duty.