Until she saw the mysterious papers, beautiful eighteen-year-old Kathleen believed she has always lived at the orphanage--had always been alone in her empty world. Now she discovered her mother had been a tempestuous Irish actress, with a shameful past. And her father none other than William Benson, one of New York's richest men, who'd secretly supported her for years--but would never claim her as his child. So the fiery young girl fled to the wild land of California to make her own destiny. And there she fell in love with the ruggedly handsome Clinton Matthews. But Kathleen knew nothing of passion--or of life. In fact, she didn't even know how to protect herself from cold-blooded murder.