When Miss Charlotte Vale isn't running a school for impoverished factory women, she takes tea with an insane painter—the mother she adores. Determined to avoid her mother's legacy of madness, Lottie refuses to marry and nurtures the ton's bemused disregard for her reputation.
Through her door strides a man who threatens all she holds dear. Her cherished school, her careful control and her guarded heart.
Sir Ian Heald has tracked his sister's blackmailer to her last-known location—Lottie's school. Although he would burn the place to the ground if it would save his sister's reputation, Ian is drawn to Lottie's bold candor and indifference toward polite society.
To find his sister's blackmailer, Ian follows Lottie into a twisted world of illegal gambling clubs and eccentric parties. Even when their mutual passion ignites, Ian knows their affair cannot last. Lottie was never meant to be tucked away on his quiet pastoral estate, and she staunchly refuses his desire to wed. Yet fiery kisses and scandalous showdowns tempt this proper country gentleman to win the woman he loves and never let her go.