Fate deals beautiful but pampered Lady Angela Bayswater a cruel blow when her wealthy landowner father dies suddenly. Not only is she now alone in the world, but she discovers that he was deep in debt and the house and estate has to be sold to pay his creditors. She hopes her betrothed, the handsome Lord Aidan Driscol, will honour his promise of marriage, but he refuses now there is now substantial dowry. Instead he offers to make her his slave, wanting to submit her to his domination. But proud and headstrong she refuses and battles with the vagaries of fortune now that she has fallen from riches to rags, struggling to survive in the midst of the harsh life of mid-Victorian London. She sacrifices her precious virginity in order to claw her way up from the gutter, prey to many ruthless, greedy, lustful people, including her former fiance, and eventually reaches her goal - that of independence and true love, despite the perverts and villains who pursue her mercilessly.