1794. In the wake of the Glorious First of June, Lieutenant John Pearce has pressing matters to attend to. He must undertake an urgent commission from Lord Hood, track down midshipman Toby Burns, and placate Emily Barclay. Meanwhile smugglers whose ship Pearce inadvertently stole, are on his tail. And it is not only John Pearce who has his fair share of trouble. The triumphant Channel Fleet returns, but the battle is already the subject of controversy –and Ralph Barclay is accused of holding back from the action. Pearce turns the table on his enemies and sets off for the Mediterranean with Emily Barclay. He can only hope that his troubles will end along with his mission. But are they only just beginning?