Her world in flames at the close of the Civil War, Erin O'Neal has lost her plantation, her parents and her very identity. In a piano-shaped music box, hidden amid ashes, she finds a letter. It reveals that she is adopted, her birth mother is deceased, and she and an unknown half-sister have inherited the Belle Charmaine, whatever or wherever that may be. Erin travels to St. Louis, Missouri, in search of her family and inheritance, and learns that a Yankee war hero may hold the key to the mystery. Dr. Lincoln Baxter suffered terribly at Andersonville Prison, but has returned to St. Louis to resume his medical practice. When he agrees to help Erin find her roots, he doesn't count on the passionate love that erupts between them, despite conflicting backgrounds, threats from society, and a desperately jealous killer.