To her horror and mystification she overhears one day her stepmother ordering her lover, the Viscount More, to marry Odela –for her money as he has very little himself.
This is the first that Odela hears of the American oil shares that her late mother left her, which have now accumulated into a vast fortune.
Unwilling to tell her father that he is being betrayed by his wife, Odela seeks refuge with her old Nanny at the country house of the Marquis of Trancombe.
Almost straight away there is an undeniable and irresistible attraction between her and the handsome Marquis.
But no sooner has she found safety than new danger appears in the form of a ruthless thief and she finds herself, together with the Marquis, imprisoned under threat of death.
Will she and her hero die ignominiously before their love can be awakened?
If only he could go back in time. Then Ian, Karl ol Marden, would not have dueled, and he would not have hit an innocent bystander -- a sickly lad, no less. And he certainly would never have brought the boy's sister, Athena Renslow, to stay at his house without a chaperone. On top of it all, the nineteen-year-old beauty is under the mistaken impression that Ian is the gentle hero who rescued her brother instead of the rogue who practically killed him. So, in order to keep the Renslows' lives from getting any worse, Ian resolves to marry the girl. But, Athena won't let the wealthy, handsome bachelor sacrifice everything for a country nobody, despite the urgings of both their families--and their hearts.