At Hawkridge House  in the English summer of 1636, botanist John Nightingale wants only to spend his life in the peaceful ordering of his estate. In Amsterdam, stock market and speculation is rife as fortunes are gambled on rare tulips. John is blackmailed into joining an elaborate money-making scheme.  Falling in love with two very different women, pursued by demons of his past and trying desperately to keep ahead of a game spiralling out of his control, John must quickly learn the ways of the world.