Stephen Fox--born out of wedlock, banished from his homeland. In 1825 he came to the New World ragged and starving, with a ten-dollar gold piece and a pearl stick pin and just one real possession, a thing he could not sell--his pride! His body, his mind, his soul, burned with one overriding ambition--one day he would be a gentleman! In New Orleans, he pitted himself against the indolent, slave-ridden, caste-bound planters with the skill and daring of the card-sharp he was. He gambled, won and built "Harrow," the greatest mansion house and plantation in Louisiana.
Odalie Orceneaux--the pearl of the South, rich and beautiful, desired by many men but won by Stephen. She loved her husband with all her heart, but could not love him with her body.
Aurore Orceneaux--his wife's sister. She loved Stephen from a distance, always faithful to a love she couldn't know, waiting for a chance to share his life.
Desiree--the lovely, tempestuous black quadroon. She was a virgin when she came to him, just sixteen years old; she was his mistress from then on. Her vibrant body was everything a man could ever long for, but her love brought death and decay.
He took the love of three women and had a child by each of them. This story is charged with blood and passion and strife between the races, the glory and decadence of a passionate age.