1586 - London, England. Sixteen-year-old Mercy Hart is the daughter of one of London's richest - and strictest - cloth merchants. Kit Turner is an actor and the illegitimate son of the late Earl of Dorset. A chance encounter finds Kit falling for the beautiful Mercy's charms, but their love is forbidden. A merchant's daughter and a vagabond - it simply cannot be. If Mercy chooses Kit she must renounce her family name and leave her home. Will she favour duty over true love, or will she give Kit his heart's desire?