Jessie's unpleasant and greedy stepfather defrauds her out of her inheritance but makes a proposition. If she marries the manager of their plantation he will sign it over to her so that she can be independent and regain some of her rightful land. Jessie agrees and marries Mr. Twill by proxy. With many doubts
she travels to the carolina's to meet her husband. However Mr. Twill is at deaths door and pretty sleazy in the bargain. The plantation is in a state of ruin. Although grossed out, she takes it in stride and attempts to help her "husband" recover.She is aided by her maid, a lazy useless servant named Josie and a handsome bond servant from the neighboring Fortune plantation. She needs her "husband" when her stepfather arrives to sign over the deeds. Mr. Twill dies and Jessie is in a predicament. Attracted to the bond servant, Sean, but aware that they are of different classes, she nonetheless asks him to pose as her husband until the papers are signed. Sean agrees. He was attracted to Jessie from the first but has other reasons for staying near her and helping her. It seems that the plantations in the area, especially Mr. Fortune's, are being burglarized by pirates and he is trying to catch them. He has isolated the burglars to Jessie's place and doesn't know whether Jessie is one of them. And, no surprise, he turns out to be more than a bondservant. The identity of the pirates is a surprise also. This isn't a unique plot but it is written with some different twists to it. The writing is well done.