Summary: Kate and Alicia Sutton are young maids of honor to the Lady Elizabeth Tudor who is confined to her house at Hatfield under the extreme displeasure of her sister Queen Mary.
Alicia, a beautiful ditz, writes the queen to complain about the conditions at Hatfield. Needless to say, Her Majesty takes offense but elects to punish not the beautiful Alicia (who she's sure isn't responsible), but instead her older, plainer sister Kate. Kate is sent to live under house arrest at Elvenwood Hall in the care of Sir Geoffrey Heron.
She soon discovers she has walked into a somewhat fraught family situation: Sir Geoffrey's small daughter and only child, Cecily, disappeared under mysterious circumstances while in the care of her uncle Christopher Heron, who of course is now Sir Geoffrey's heir.Needless to say everybody draws the obvious conclusion and Christopher's Byronic posturing does nothing to help the situation.
This is followed by the revelation that the 'Elvenwood' really is the haunt of honest to God 'faeries' (or surviving pagans) who pay a yearly teind to Hell (or their gods) of one human life.
Guess why Cecily was taken. Guess what fate is intended for Christopher who has offered himself in exchange for his niece. Guess who has to save him.
- Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other - Kate and Christopher spend most of their time together arguing - and we all know what that means!
- Beautiful All Along - Kate gets a makeover during her time in the Fairy Hill.
- Black Eyes - The villain, to go with his black heart.
- Dude in Distress - Christopher, who is very difficult about being rescued.
- Dumb Blond - Alicia
- Eyes of Gold - Alicia whose eyes match her golden curls.
- The Fair Folk - Probably perfectly human pagans. Probably.
- Gray Eyes - Characteristic of the Heron family, along with a heck of a stubborn streak.
- Human Sacrifice - The Teind
- Insulted Awake - Kate does this to Christopher while rescuing him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold - Christopher. Or maybe a Jerkass Woobie?
- Love Potion of the Love First Person Sighted variety - The Green Lady gives Kate one to use but Kate refuses to accept it because she is afraid of it being fake and would not want a relationship based on false feelings.
- Rescue Romance. Of course the usual sex of rescuer and rescuee is reversed.
- The Virgin Queen - Kate and Alicia serve Elizabeth during her captivity. She is crowned queen during Kate and Christopher's capitivity.
- Youngest Child Wins - Alicia has always gotten everything.
- Kate fears that Christopher falls in love with Alicia after meeting her, but this trope is averted as he is in love with Kate instead.