In Victorian New Zealand, Rachel and Richard are lovers in an age of strict moral and social rules. Rachel is a socialite who becomes an outcast; the victim of jealousy and malicious gossip. Her wealthy father thinks she will marry an older man who can support her in the style she is accustomed to, but when Richard and Rachel meet, both know that something extraordinary has happened.
But, Richard is a lowly farm labourer and it throws their lives into despair, for he will have to prove that he is worthy enough to be her husband. Richard knows that tradition decrees that if he serves the Queen and his Country, then Rachel’s father cannot refuse their wish to marry, so he joins the New Zealand Mounted Rifles and volunteers to fight in South Africa.
But, war is not a pleasure cruise. Thin and weary from overwork, he experiences a clash of culture with the glamorous but infuriating Lady Sarah, who has more than a few regrets of her own. Then, ordered to escort her and protect her from harm, they are lead through an ordeal from which they luckily emerge, only to be thrown into an even more frightening confrontation with murderous mercenary, Erich von Smidt. Richard, however is not out of the woods. He is wounded and captured, and his morale plummets to rock bottom, while he pines for Rachel and home. However, drama then enters Rachel’s life. Danger comes calling from an unexpected quarter, which leads to a dramatic finale that shocks them all …