In this book we meet the lovely, willful Catherine (Cat) and the dashing, ambitious Patrick (Pat). Cat is an heiress (of course)and dress designer for Queen Elizabeth. With a deceased father and cold, distant mother who cares more for her job as Her Majesty's Wardrobe Mistress than her only child, Cat grows to be an impulsive (but lovely) young woman who strives to get attention from others via her outrageous actions. Pat's father is an exiled ex-earl (treason) whose wife went into exile with him, leaving behind their only son to fend on his own. Pat retained control of the family manor house, but nothing else, so his overriding ambition was to marry well, preferably into a title. Things somewhat change when he has a psychic vision of the lovely Cat and becomes obsessed with her. Also, the fact that she's filthy rich (and lovely) and heir to an earldom is all the reason he needs to pursue her across England and Scotland.
As with other Virginia Henley novels, the main characters are far less likable then her secondary characters. Cat's impulsiveness wears old as does Patrick's need to find a rich wife. Further, the first half of the novel is simply repetitive. I quickly grew tired of hearing how lovely and delicate Cat was. If you've tired of reading about it in this short review, guess how much worse it will be when you read it on seemingly every single page for at least half of the book. The novel is repetitive in another way - it borrows heavily from Ms. Henley's earlier novel "The Dragon and The Jewel". For example, the events that drove the characters into each others arms is nearly identical in both books. Cat even refers to Patrick as her "magic man" just as Elenor does with Simon.
The book does pick up steam towards the end, with Catherine "growing up" and showing how much love she is capable of giving. The scene between her and her childhood nurse toward the end of the book was very touching and demonstrated Cat's growing maturity.
Summary: The book is fine for a bit of light reading, but if you are pressed for time, have already read Dragon and the Jewel, or will be annoyed by the repetitive dialog, you might be better off looking for another story. If you like Ms.Henley or historical romance, you might enjoy her older novel "A Year and a Day". It is more tightly written, has a better plot and very likable characters.