To escape an arranged marriage, Adelaide, an Osfridian countess, must pose as aservant and join the Glittering Court-a school designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends- the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one- the intriguing Cedric Thorn.
When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide's deception. Complications soon arise-first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.
But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands . . .