Powerful, hard-hearted Leonard Mears ruthlessly presides over his wife and children, exiling them from the outside world and brutally punishing any disobedience. But he is also a man with a dark secret; an illegitimate daughter that he forced his sister to bring up. The girl is now a young woman who, unbeknown to him, is determined to find the father that abandoned her. James Peterson, a gifted young man, runs Mear's factory with more success than Leonard's own sons. He lives for the day he can have his own business and make his fortune. Only then will he be able to declare his love for beautiful Isabel Mears who he means to release from the gilded cage her father has created. But then the lonely, lovely Sally comes in to his life, turning his heart and dreams upside down.