Lady Catherine Aldley was beautiful, and she knew it. She was very much aware of the picture she made as she stood bracing herself against the rail on the deck of the Anna Greer
, a light wind ruffling her hair and the setting sun turning its red-gold splendor to a vivid flame. The brisk sea air had whipped color into her cheeks, and her blue eyes sparkled.
She was only seventeen, and had been pampered and protected all her short life. Since her mother’s death ten years before, she had been raised by a nanny and a succession of governesses whose duty in life had been to teach their young charge the things that were important for a...