Sentenced to die at age eleven for stealing a pig, Jean-Claude receives an unexpected reprieve when a young aristocrat girl takes the blame instead. When the revolution sends the rabble to the girls chateau years later, he knows he must return the favor and rescue her. As they flee through the woods he makes it clear he is not her servant. In fact, if she wishes his help, she must concede he is her master and understand her disobedience will be punished. Intending to take her only as far as the port city Le Havre and send her off to England, the beautiful aristo inspires a fierce protectiveness in him that makes it hard to say goodbye. Corinne is alternately infuriated and attracted to the handsome peasant who has no qualms about turning her over his knee and spanking her bare bottom when she steps out of line. When he ends up joining her on a ship to New Orleans, their futures becoming inextricably intertwined. But can a peasant-born blacksmith and the daughter of a duc find enough common ground to make a permanent match?