Alexander Kinross is remembered in his native Scotland only as a shiftless boilermaker’s apprentice and a godless rebel. But, when hi writes form Australia to summon his bride, his Scottish relatives realize that he has made a fortune on the goldfields and is a man to be reckoned with.
Arriving in Sydney after a difficult voyage, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Drummond meets her husband-to-be and discover that he frightens and repels her. Offered no choice, she married him and is whisked at once across wild, uninhabited countryside to Alexander’s own town, named Kinross after himself. In the crags above it lies the world’s richest gold mine.
Isolated in Alexander’s great house and with no company ave Chinese servants, Elizabeth finds that the intimacies of marriage don’t prompt her husband to enlighten her about his past life – or his present one. She has no idea that he still has a mistress, the sensuous, tough, outspoken Ruby Costevan.
Captured by their very different natures, Alexander resolves to have both Elizabeth and Ruby – why should he not? He has the the fabled ‘Midas Touch’, a combination of curiosity, boldness and intelligence that he applies to every situation and which only fails him when it come to these two women. For while Ruby loves Alexander desperately, Elizabeth does not.