Book 2 of the Westcott series is Camille's story—and the story of Joel Cunningham, who appeared in Book 1, Someone to Love, as Anna's closest friend. Camille, dispossessed after the revelation about her illegitimacy in Book 1 and living now with her maternal grandmother in Bath, has grown tired of hiding away and feeling sorry for herself. She decides to take charge of her life and makes the unlikely decision to fill the vacancy left by a departing teacher at the school in the orphanage where Anna grew up and taught. There Camille meets Joel, who volunteers as an art teacher twice a week and is not at all pleased to find her there, replacing his beloved Anna. Matters are made worse when Camille's grandmother hires Joel to paint portraits of Camille and Abigail, her younger sister.
Camille gradually comes to terms with her changed circumstances even as she accustoms herself to teaching and develops attachments to some of the children at the orphanage. She has to deal with a face to face encounter with her ex-fiancé, who chooses to be spiteful. She must face the Westcott family, who are determined not to let her go despite her illegitimacy. And all the time she is developing a grudging friendship with Joel and unwillingly falling in love with him.
Joel, who grew up at the orphanage, knowing nothing about his parentage or his secret benefactor, has made a good life for himself as a growingly successful portrait painter and teacher. When he learns, suddenly and unexpectedly, the truth about himself, he is more upset than delighted and is not at all sure he wishes to pursue his new knowledge. He finds himself turning to Camille in his distress, knowing she will understand the emotional turmoil he is experiencing. Inevitably, as she alternately annoys and encourages him, he falls in love with her.