“In struggling with misfortune, Lies the true proof of virtue.” - Shakespeare
It is the year 1848, and a cholera outbreak has just ravaged Manchester, leaving Emma Belden an orphan with two young siblings to care for. Left with few options, she is forced to enter the workhouse and suffer the habitual injustices commonplace to that sad institution. Her beauty and naivety a target for the unscrupulous master of the workhouse and Edward Wells, the owner of the local textile mill, Emma will be compelled to make the difficult decision between the safety of her brother and sister and her own virtue.
Gideon, Lord de Monthaut, is instantly smitten the moment he sees Emma, despite the fact that she is on the arm of one of the most notorious blackguards in Manchester society.
Will Emma find it possible to rise above her circumstances and find love? And in the process learn the true Proof of Virtue?