July 1816, one of the wettest summers in living memory. The Prince of Wales transfers his court to his Brighton seaside pavilion at a time when the squabble with Greece over the Elgin marbles is in danger of turning into a diplomatic incident. In a clumsy effort to intervene, the prince engages the services of Amara, a beautiful Greek soprano, to entertain at his summer court.
Amara is aware that her father, who despises everything to do with England, will raise merry hell when he learns of her disobedience. Committed to marrying a man she dislikes, Amara is determined to make the most of her freedom but doesn’t expect to fall violently in love with Louis Harland, a member of the cartel of aristocratic younger sons dedicated to protecting the prince’s interests.
Torn between his duty to the prince and his growing attraction towards Amara, Louis despairs when the prince invites a Greek deputation to Brighton, assuming he will be able to heal the rift between the two nations. Amara’s agent, whose services she has dispensed with, is out to snatch her away from Brighton, the man she is engaged to marry arrives unexpectedly, violence breaks out in the court, and the situation slides rapidly out of control.
Can Louis and Jonas (Chance) Dayton find a way to protect the prince, keep Amara safe from those who wish to exploit her, and prevent her from being forced into an unsuitable marriage…
The knives are out for George, Prince of Wales, when he ascends to the regency. The Carlton House Cartel, a coterie of younger aristocratic sons, is dedicated to protecting Prinny from those out to manipulate him or undermine his authority.
When George entertains a Prussian delegation, Lord Eli Scott, equerry and adviser to the prince, suspects that Lord Talbot is secretly working against British interests by destabilizing the vital negotiations taking place at the Vienna Congress. His fears intensity when he discovers that Talbot is on the point of becoming engaged to the Prussian ambassador’s daughter. Attracted to Mila Kruger himself, Eli now has personal reasons to foil such an unsuitable union.
Lord Jonas Dayton, universally known as Chance, runs a fashionable gaming club in central London. When Sabine Kendal seeks his help to find her sister’s missing husband and it becomes apparent that Talbot is central to her problems too, Chance senses a conspiracy.
Working with Eli and Chance, Sabine finds herself mixing with royalty and grappling to understand what Talbot’s interest in her affairs could possibly be. Will she find Nancy’s husband? Will Eli be able to save Mila, the lady who has come to mean so much to him, from marriage to a man of Talbot’s ilk? And what of the attraction that has spontaneously sprung up between Chance and Sabine…