The "beauty" is talented painter Alix Miller. Her father, Alexander, is scheduled to go to the isolated Crompton mansion in New Hampshire to paint a family portrait of the mysterious, reclusive author Lee Crompton, but he falls ill and cannot. Alix decides to take his place. Much to her shock, Lee is horribly disfigured from a disease called acromegaly. Still, she has an obligation and so goes on with the painting. But as time goes on, they finds themselves increasingly drawn romantically to each other, despite the enigmatic Lee's own fears.