Letitia Reed is an unremarkable woman in many aspects. Meek and mild, she prefers to keep her head down, and fears drawing undue attention to herself. As a governess to the wealthy Mortimer family, Letitia devotes her humdrum days in London to the schooling of her pupil, Clara, to better mould her into the image of an ideal lady.
Lurking beneath Letitia’s placid mannerisms, however, lay desires so intense they begin to unnerve her. As Clara matures, Letitia finds her feelings towards her maturing too – until, in the end, she can no longer bear it.
Driven to distraction by Clara’s sensuous brown eyes and her sweet, seraphic laughter, Letitia soon begins to question her sanity. Fearful that, eventually, something within her might snap, and she will do something she regrets, Letitia is bidden to leave her former place of employment, and to seek out work elsewhere.
Fortunately, Letitia soon discovers, in the pages of The Morning Post, a job offer which will grant her a means to escape her predicament. The Langley family are searching for a governess for their daughter, the unruly Genevieve – and, best of all, the family resides in the isolated Yorkshire moors, which seems as far away from London as it is possible to get.
Upon reading this advertisement, Letitia soon decides to hand in her notice. She will travel to Yorkshire, become Genevieve’s governess, and then – God willing – she will be able to forget about Clara.
Such was Letitia’s plan – but this plan, alas, soon goes horribly awry. Genevieve is not quite so young as Letitia first believed, and is, instead, a grown woman: already eighteen years of age. Genevieve is wilful and impetuous, but impossibly charming, and Letitia soon falls for her.
As time passes, the two women get far closer than a governess and her pupil ought, and then…