'If there were any convents left in England I would gladly enter one,' Mistress Isabel Holstead tells Sir Ralph Overton. Anything would be preferable to marrying him! But in the troubled religious climate of 1581 it seems that she must reconcile herself to her fate. And Sir Ralph is her parents' choice - besides having saved her father from the Tower, he shares her faith and is immensley wealthy. But what good are all these reasons for marriage without love?