Dr. Ovid Vere first caught sight of the love of his life the day before he was due to leave for the Mediterranean. He caught sight of her in the street and followed her to a concert, where she fainted. What could he do? He was a doctor, after all; he had to help her -- and that's how he learned that she was Carmina Graywell, his mother's niece from Italy, accompanied by her old nurse, Teresa. Carmina's father, Robert, had just died leaving her to be brought up by Mrs. Gallilee in London. That was before life got complicated, but the complications that were to come of that moment would vex them both for so long. . . .