One step ahead of the law, Fanny Byron, former lady’s maid to a London Courtesan, arrives in the Penal Colony of New South Wales in 1827. She is plunged into the colonial power struggle between the Quality, rich emancipist, entrepreneurs, newspaper editors fighting for trial by Jury.
Governor Darling’s autocratic rule – and rogues at all levels of society. Beauty is Fanny’s only weapon for survival. Under the protection of a privileged ‘gentleman convict’ and gambler, she is transformed into the mysterious courtesan – Vianna Francis.
Taught how to play the Colony’s wealthiest men off against each other, she inspires obsessive love from two young rivals – Felix L’Estrange, handsome heir to a powerful landowner – and convict’s son, Mungo Quayle, sentenced to Moreton bay under the brutal Commandant, Captain Patrick Logan.
But for Vianna, fame comes at a bitter price. She is haunted by the memory of the one kiss she can never forget. And the promise of a young man before he was hanged.