Jenny Samson, sister of Luke (book two) and daughter of Brant (book one), is a gifted artist, and moves from her country home in Texas to attend Jake Ryder's Academy of Art in New York. She has long dreamed of meeting Mr. Ryder, the renowned artist known as the Painter of Emotions, but when she does, his criticism of her paintings devastates her.
Jake Ryder lost his right arm in a carriage accident and it was the final sorrow in a life of sorrows. Now he lives a bitter and solitary existence, rarely leaving his estate outside of New York City. The sweet paintings of Jenny Samson incense the artist in him because life is not sweet, nor kind, nor lovely, and he lashes out at the plain country girl during a gallery exhibition of her work. Soon, however, he will discover there is more to Jenny that he anticipated.