Lady Panthea Vyne, the thirteen-year-old daughter of the Marquess of Staverly, is persuaded into a secret marriage with a Roundhead -- the bestial tax-collector, Christian Drysdale, because of his promise to save her brother, Richard, form the scaffold.
As they drive through the night after the wedding ceremony, Panthea, terrified by Christian Drysdale's advances and his brutality to her dog, instinctively trusts the notorius highwayman, Whitethroat, when he holds ups the coach. He tells her that Richard has been hanged for helping their exiled King, and learning of her marriage, challenges Christian Drysdale to a duel, The Roundhead is killed an Whitethroat takes Panthea back home.
Five yeas later, after Charles II has returned to London triumph, and they joy, gaiety luxury of the Restoration is being enjoyed by all England. Now, Panthea is the Queen's favourite lady-in-waiting, when she and her highwayman still a hunted outlaw, their paths cross again.
But Panthea was being courted by her dissolute cousin Rudolph, who aspires to the Marquisate of Staverly, and she incurs the bitter enmity of the famous Lady Castlemaine, the ambitious mistress of Charles II. Falsely accused of murder, Panthea awaits her sentence. If the highwayman she loves could save her once again, she would follow him gladly wherever he went, whatever the cost....