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They met as carefree children, innocents who knew nothing of betrayal, deception, and the many traps of the human heart. Michael and Jannine were inseparable - or so they thought. But when World War II began and Michael?s father goes to war, his mother takes him to Seabright to wait until the war is over, and nothing would be the same between them. By the time their paths cross again, the world is no longer at war. Jannine is now engaged to Douglass, the sole grandchild of indomitable Idabelle Crawthers Hartford. As a new member of the aristocratic Hartford family, she can look forward to a life of comfort and safety, even as the demands of her heart tempt her to change her plans. The Hartfords are powerful, yet scandal has haunted them for years. When Thomas, Douglass?s father, defies his mother and marries Rebekah Gould of the local Jewish Society, he is quickly disinherited. The young lovers are cursed by scandal, and Rebekah dies before she can see their son, Douglass, grow into a man. Grief-stricken, Thomas takes Douglass home to his parents, but after a confrontation between his mother and Douglass, Thomas enrolls Douglass in a series of boarding schools, until Douglass enlists in World War II. Years later, as Jannine is about to marry Douglass, Michael returns to Crawthers Square. Jannine has a decision to make. Into all of the lives he touches is Marsh, an inveterate light bearer who teaches them all about the Season of the Flame.