When the Conti family becomes bankrupt, their palace is confiscated and they are forced to move. Sabina, the youngest of the family is taken in, ironically, by the banker/senator and his wife (the very ones responsible for the Conti's losing their home) and spends the next few months with them.
Meanwhile, there is work being done at the Conti's palace. A renowned archaeologist has been hired to sniff out hidden treasures and "lost waters " deep under the foundations of the palace grounds.
This is a romance/mystery/adventure. The romance develops between the archaeologist and the princess Sabina, and when treasure is discovered in hidden vaults underground, he wants Sabina to be the first to see it.
Unfortunately, there are two other people in Rome aware of what lies beneath the city and these scoundrels (think mafia) are also aware of how to work the "lost waters " i.e, how to control the water's flow...which runs through the vaults and passages...
I wont say any more but it gets pretty exciting.
I couldn't make up my mind whether to give this 3.5 or 4 stars but since I enjoyed Francis Marion Crawford's book A Roman Singer just a smidgen more and rated that one at 4 stars, I have given this 3.75.