Zambak Hayden seethes with frustration. A woman her age has occupied the throne for over a year, yet the Duke of Sudbury’s line of succession still passes over her—his eldest—to land on a son with neither spine nor character. She follows her brother, the East India Company’s newest and least competent clerk, to Macau to protect him and to safeguard the family honor—if she also escapes the gossip and intrigues of London and the marriage mart, so much the better. She has no intention of being forced into some sort of dynastic marriage, and she may just refuse to marry at all. The greed and corruption she finds horrifies her, especially when her brother succumbs to the lure of opium. She determines to document the truth. When an old family friend arrives, she assumes her father sent him. She isn’t about to bend to his dictates nor give up her quest. Her traitorous heart, however, can’t stop yearning for a man she can’t have.
As an epic historical drama unfolds around them, both Charles and Zambak must come to terms with a love that neither expected.