Deep down, Lady Evangeline "Ivy" Chandonette carries a secret fear of being close to any man.
After being attacked at age seventeen, she hid her shame and remained unmarried-that is, until her family's estate began to dwindle. Now, at twenty, it's up to Ivy to save her father's legacy by accepting the hand of a long-time obsessive admirer, Allyn Marsden.
Not only must she withstand entering into a loveless marriage, but she must follow her husband to the Marsden coffee plantation in Brazil. After arriving in Rio de Janeiro, Ivy encounters the handsome dark-haired manservant, Tristão Fontes, whose bold temperament immediately clashes with her guarded exterior.
But, Tristão Fontes is not an ordinary servant. He's just returned from overseas and is intent on reclaiming his family's losses.
Lonely in this exotic place, Ivy finds solace in her love of painting. Taking a chance, she secretly entrusts Tristão to escort her into the village for supplies. Tristão obliges her request but didn't expect to be captivated by her beauty and artistic spirit. The more time they spend alone, a yearning develops between them that cannot be suppressed.
Soon, Ivy must choose between the marriage, both keeping her trapped and her family estate intact. Or the passion Tristão has ignited. Theirs is a forbidden love, that if discovered, will shatter her family's legacy and disgrace her forever.