When, Louis Napoleon, the elected President of France, and the grandson of Napoleon Bonaparte, overthrew the democratically elected government in 1851, establishing a new French Republic, the courts of Europe became embroiled in a game of diplomatic thrust and counter thrust. Confirmed bachelor Captain Richard Pembleton of the Royal Engineers is invited by England's Foreign Minister Lord Palmerston to join the ranks of military intelligence. His first task is to escort a young Scotsman to Russia, however, things do not always go to plan. Natasha Bludova, the illegitimate daughter of Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich and Countess Bludova found the French aristocracy quite intolerable. "Oh, Mother, these Frenchmen are such ignorant pigs." she exclaimed, with a mixed expression of disappointment and frustration. She could never accept a Frenchman, though, she need not have feared the prospect. Her Uncle, Czar Nicholas 1 would never consent to her marrying a Frenchmen, Russia's mortal and historical enemy. Her fortunes change when, by chance she meets Richard and through circumstance, travels to England where, secretly married, they are sent to the Ottoman Empire on a mission of minor significance. Things change, when a French delegation visit England at the same time as Natasha's mother. Lord Palmerston becomes aware of French moves within the Ottoman designed to grant the French Catholic church, protectorate rights in Palistine. Together Richard and Natasha venture to disrupt Emperor Napoleon's plans to bring war to the Ottoman Empire. A war, that would by necessity, involve both England and France facing Russia.