Haunted from his years of service to The West Africa Squadron, where he endeavored to stop the trafficking of slaves, Captain Malcolm Westbourne is assigned to the disappearances of orphans in England.
Miss Katherine Ashby is thrilled when Malcolm arrives to protect her orphans, but her happiness is short-lived when he insists on an explanation of why she rejected his courtship a year ago. Katherine is falling in love with Malcolm, but must confront what happened to her as a child if she desires a future with him.
Malcolm had never experienced the instant attraction he felt when first being introduced to Katherine, but he also sees the fear in her eyes. He pursues her with kindness, humor, and patience in an attempt to gain her trust.
When Malcolm's investigation turns deadly, he, too, must face the demons of his past. Will Katherine and he break free from the shackles binding them and learn to trust each other, or will they be held prisoner to the past forever?