England could not long remain immune to the terror of the Revolution sweeping France. On the Romney Marsh and all along the Kent coast, farm-folk and fishermen were more than idle spectators of the struggle across the Channel.
But Jane Howard had no thought of France or Revolution as her carriage jogged along the desolate road to Blake's Reach. Her mind was trying to adjust to her first glimpse of the Marsh, faintly sinister and un-natural-looking. She shivered and waited eagerly for sight of the family manor house, her only haven after the death of her beautiful courtesan mother had left her penniless in London.
To her horror, there appeared before her a decaying shell, strangled by monstrous vines and overhung with an air of death. Blake's Reach!
Before that first night was over, Jane vowed she would restore the ruin that was her ancestral home, shutting out all thought of the rightful heir, Charles Blake, lost to the sight in the French Terror. For the moment, she must raise funds, and soon she became aware of how it could be done. Sumgglers of contraband and French refugees had long used Blake's Reach in their perilous operations. Jane threw in her hand, and then her heart, losing it to Paul Fletcher, captain of the smuggling ring's lugger.
From the soft warmth of a velvet gown to the knife-like cut of the howling sea wind, Catherine Gasking brings to life this tale of romance, intrigue and mysterious passages to the forbidden coast of France.