"Captain Ivan Vorpatril is happy with his relatively uneventful bachelor's life of a staff officer to a Barrayaran Admiral. Ivan, cousin to Imperial troubleshooter Miles Vorkosigan, is not far down the hereditary list for the emperorship. Thankfully, new heirs have directed that headache elsewhere leaving Ivan to enjoy like on Komarr. But when and old friend in Barrayaran intelligence asks Ivan to protect an attractive young woman Tej Arqua his chivalrous nature takes over and danger finds him once again. Tej and her half-sister Rish are fleeing the violent overthrow of their clan but it seems Tej may possess a hidden secret that could corrupt the heart of a highly regarded Barrayarn family. But none of Tej's formidable adversaries have counted on Ivan Vorpatril. Behind his facade of wry and self effacing humor lies a true and cunning protector who will never leave a distressed lady in the lurch"-- Provided by publisher.