On a hot summer’s day in 1880, the beautiful Lady Rosella is cutting a basket of blooms in her beloved rose garden at her aunt’s house in Hampshire. It is her 17th birthday and no one remembers it except for Thomas, the gardener’s son. She is driven to Winchester and has an unpleasant encounter with two raucous gentlemen in the local tavern before going on to fit her first ballgown. Who is the lovely masked woman she glimpses in the mirror at the dressmakers? And who is the dark figure approaching through the shadows of a dim and ghostly ballroom? Before she discover the answers to these questions and to escape marriage to an unpleasant companion of her uncle’s, Rosella must travel to the city of Venice. When a mysterious stranger appears in Venice, Rosella believes that he may be the love she has dreamed about.