Lady Megan Cantrell is escorted home from India by British diplomat and friend of her late husband, Lord Charles Hadley. Megan and her baby son, now the Earl Cantrell, are turned away from Cantrell Court and an attempt is subsequently made to abduct Megan’s son. Charles turns to Jake Morton, the Earl of Torbay, and his future wife, Olivia Grantley, for help in protecting the vulnerable widow and her child.
The Cantrell clan close ranks and poison society’s opinion against Megan, the lowly daughter of an agent working for the East India Company, branding her an opportunist and a fraud. Until the validity of Megan’s hasty marriage to Jake’s friend Luke Cantrell and, more importantly, the legitimacy of Luke’s heir can be established, Megan’s life and that of her baby are in mortal danger.
Olivia worries that the cloud still hanging over her reputation following the murder of her first husband will adversely affect Jake’s standing when they marry. Miranda Southcott, the woman Jake had intended to marry ten years previously, makes an unexpected reappearance in Jake’s life. Jealous and out for revenge she threatens to make public particulars of Jake’s brother’s death, implying that Jake was implicit in bringing it about.
Can Jake find a way to save Megan and her son, fend off Miranda’s attempts at blackmail, keep his and Olivia’s reputations intact and persuade Olivia to go through with the marriage…