Living alone in a crumbling cottage on the edge of her late father's estate, twenty-three-year-old Samantha Sterling has already accepted her inevitable spinsterhood. Her father's death and the entailment of his barony along the male line make it very unlikely that anyone of rank will have her.
All that changes when Nicholas, a wealthy nobleman, purchases the estate. An unlikely set of circumstances lead to an equally unlikely marriage of convenience, and slowly, Samantha falls for her new husband.
Her love is unrequited, but she's treated well and surrounded by wealth. Then a messenger arrives with shocking news: Samantha's grandfather was executed for treason. This terrible secret, now revealed, puts Nicholas's honor in jeopardy.
He sees no choice but to send Samantha away while an annulment is drafted. It's only then, when Nicholas realizes he's losing her forever, that he confronts his true feelings. He loves her.
Meanwhile, Samantha's new neighbor, the rakish Lord Rawling, is handsome, charming, and rich-and has a twinkle in his eye just for her. And although Samantha is carrying Nicholas's child, Lord Rawling is determined to prove that Nicholas was not her true love after all. So why does Samantha feel so torn?