On a bitterly cold day in 1904, the Deravenel family's future changes forever. When Cecily Deravenel tells her 18-year-old son, Edward, of the death of his father, brother, and cousins in a fire, a part of him dies as well. Edward is comforted by his cousin Neville Watkins, who is suspicious of the deaths. They vow to seek the truth, avenge the deaths, and take control of the business empire usurped 60 years before.
Handsome, charismatic, and a notorious womanizer, Edward battles his cousin, Henry Grant, for control of the family empire. Elizabeth Wyland, a young widow and a great beauty, stands by his side, and they are secretly married. She is power hungry and ambitious. But Edward also has a mistress: Jane Shaw, a constant in his life. And as Elizabeth's jealousy damages their marriage, Edward's only solace is Bess, his brilliant first born. But the house of Deravenel is fatally rocked when betrayal comes from within. Soon, catastrophe threatens to destroy the family and the business.
Power and money, passion and adultery, ambition and treachery all illuminate a dramatic epic saga set against the backdrop of the Edwardian era and the belle epoque, just before the First World War.
"Lusty escapist fiction." (
"Barbara Taylor Bradford is the storyteller of substance." ( The Times, London)
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