In 1858 young ladies of good family did not take their lives and futures into their own hands. Orphaned from birth, Dilly Farraday has always been shunted all over the South from one unwelcoming relative to another. Too pretty for her current family’s comfort, Dilly decides to go North in search of her mother’s family rather than submit to a distasteful marriage. She has been in correspondence with her cousin Doro, whom she knows will welcome her. Once in Connecticut Dilly is shocked to find that Doro is one of the many young women who have gone missing recently. Undaunted, Dilly arrives at the great crumbling pile of Dragon House. Doro had written about being in love with the master of here. Dilly is confounded that there are two handsome brothers there and neither know anything about Doro.
Dilly is crushed and almost ready to leave when out by the treacherous cliff to the sea she finds a collar that she had made for Doro. She redoubles her investigation, sure now that Doro is there someplace and that she will find her. What she does not expect is that she will fall in love with one of the masters of Dragon House, or that in solving the mystery of the missing girls she will put not only her life but her love at risk.