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Valparaíso, 1834. Laura Villa-Smith arrives at Chile’s main port, the only botanical illustrator who will sail aboard the HMS Beagle, the English ship that will carry Charles Darwin’s scientific expedition to South American shores. A glorious day for Chilean history, but not so much for Laura, who, in addition to facing numerous obstacles thanks to doing a job reserved for men, saw her share of the pay endangered by the economic difficulties occasioned by the length of the journey. Forced to seek a temporary position to raise the necessary funds, she is employed as a governess for the daughters of the recently widowed Baroness Rothschild.
And so she arrives at Bluebells Manor, where she must report to the new heir, Lord John, who is also arriving in the country for the first time, although for a very different reason: to face a bereavement, the responsibility of the family legacy, and an inheritance that he doesn’t really want.