Ravishing and desperate Lysette Kersaint flees an impending marriage to a man she hates to seek sanctuary with a man she fears. For rumors abound throughout New Orleans concerning her handsome, brooding protector, Maximilien Vallerand--whispers of his cruelty, his rages, his dark, mysterious past. Forces by circumstance, Lysette consents to wed the dangerous rake, becoming the unwitting instrument of his sworn vengeance. But the flame-haired beauty's innocent heart will awaken within him a soul of passion and poetry. . .and spawn a love magnificent, wild, and true.