Austria during the 1920s is the setting for the fifth of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's novels about the elegant and mysterious Count Ragoczy Saint-Germain. In Tempting Fate, the Count becomes guardian to a spirited and talented young girl named Laisha, a Russian war orphan. Traveling frequently to the great cities of Europe, the pair move in a world whose days are numbered, as the landed nobility of Europe face the shocks of the future. Saint-Germain must come to the aid of three women: a Russian duchess who has to make a new life for herself in Paris after the revolution, a beautiful young widow who sees her family fortune squandered and her centuries-old home menaced by a new order of violence, and Madelein de Montaila, the entrancing Frenchwoman who shares Saint-Germain's long memory and his secret.
After a horribly cruel crime, Saint-Germain decides on a desperate course of action that could lead, even for him, to a lasting death. Tempting Fate is the richest, most passionate, and most poignant of the Saint-Germain series.