In England's Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life--but behind closed doors treason and deception thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal--and to fulfill a dying soldier's last wish by delivering his coded diary. At the home of the Wilherns, one of England's most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance--until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia's guardian.