On the island of Rhodes, 227 BC, Tessa of Delos has served for ten years as a hetaira-a high-priced Greek courtesan-to a wealthy politician. In that time, she's lived in luxury, but as a virtual prisoner, serving at her master's whim. Though intelligent and beautiful, Tessa has learned to numb herself to all desires for freedom and love.
But when her owner meets a violent death, Tessa is given the chance to be free-if she can hide the truth of his death and maintain a masquerade until escape is possible. She joins forces with unlikely allies-a Hebrew houseservant named Simeon and Nikos, a seafarer who wants to work in the house of Tessa's owner.