Kate Ivory should be writing her latest novel, but her partner wants her to concentrate on their burgeoning relationship. The last thing Kate needs is a cry for help from her young friend, Sam Dolby. Blake Parker is director of an Oxford research unit. If his team don't produce useful results soon, he faces losing funding. The last thing Blake needs is a violent attack on his lab by an animal rights group. Faced with competing demands, Kate agrees to keep an eye on Sam's girlfriend, Kerri, while he's away in China.