Scotland, 1811. Coming from the Highlands to Edinburgh in search of a husband, Alison Lamont finds herself in all sorts of trouble. Thrown out of a fashionable ball for a stolen kiss, Alison flees from a riot in the notorious Old Town and meets Willie Kemp, an eccentric boatbuilder. While she falls deeply in love with Mr. Kemp, her aunt wishes her to marry the obnoxious but rich John Forres. Alison takes drastic measures to solve her dilemma, including a long trip through the snow-covered Pentland Hills. But who left the mysterious footprints outside her cottage, and what secrets is Mr. Kemp hiding?