Golden-haired, blue-blooded Francesca di Gascardi was a tempting prize for any nobleman. But, schooled for a wealthy, passionless match, she hungered for life, for gaiety -- for love. One moonlit night Francesca slipped out to that most lavish of Venetian fetes, the Carnival, and there met the man who would make her the most notorious woman in Venice. An English spy, Giles St. Talvert could pledge his heart to no woman, so their tempestuous union left Francesca scandalously alone. It was only then that she found the bonds of love are even stronger than the bitterness of betrayal.