Living in a city deemed the wickedest in the world is no easy task for Miss Juliana Dutton. To make matters worse, with an ailing father and a drunken fool for a brother, she is forced to take over the running of the family business in order to survive. When a nosey suitor threatens everything, she spurns him and instead becomes engaged to the town idiot, Lord Munthrope. But is he an idiot? The more her problems push her closer to the man, the more she realizes he is not who he seems.
Alexander Hyde, the Pirate Earl, is the most feared pirate in the Caribbean--feared, successful, wealthy, handsome, and bored, so terribly bored. When an unexpected event allows him to get close to Juliana, a woman he has loved from afar for years, he takes it. But leading a double life causes more problems than it's worth. A restless crew and a long-time enemy out to capture and hang Alex, put Juliana in grave danger.
As tremors rock the city of Port Royal, Juliana's faith in God is equally shaken. Not only have things gotten worse, but she is confused by her feelings for both Munthrope and the Pirate Earl. Deception, intrigue, mutiny, death, betrayal, all attempt to tear the lovers apart. But the final blow comes when a massive earthquake strikes the city and threatens to sink it into the sea.