Rosalie was raised on a farmin rural Italy by her mother and uncle. They die within months of each other when Rosalie is just fourteen, and her future is uncertain until she is rescued by her father, Drago, who invites her to join his exciting travelling circus with the promise of fame and fortune. Disillusion soon follows and when Drago realizes she is no asset to the company,she finds herself living with another guardian, Drago's wealthy Uncle Angelo. On the eve of her sixteenth birthday she realizes there are sinister forces at work in this family and she must flee Sicily with the help of Leo Marino, an Australian racehorse trainer heading home after a disastrous brush with his own relatives. Leo finds a way to take her back with him to Melbourne, where she is happy to begin working at his training complex at Cranbourne. But as Rosalie enters adulthood, it becomes clear that escaping Italy will not necessarily mean escaping her past.