Colonel Sir Isaac Rebow, traumatized by his parents' unhappy marriage, vowed never to be legshackled; he's successfully avoided the parson's mousetrap. Enter his errant uncle, caperwitted squire Matthew Martin, who disappears from his Chelsea townhouse late one night, abandoning his two daughters. Isaac must step in as guardian until Matthew reappears, a situation not at all to his liking.
Mary Martin, the elder sister, is stubborn, independent, and strong-willed. She's also been in love with her handsome cousin forever, but he's never deigned to notice her. Chafing under his reluctant guardianship, they cross swords immediately and often. Lady Sophia Rowley, one of the ton's most beautiful and ruthless women, determined to lead Isaac to the altar when her ailing husband dies, further complicates matters. A situation in Isaac's library leads to an offer of marriage, an offer Mary refuses. She adores him, but how can she enter into a loveless union, thinking his affections are otherwise engaged? She has no idea he's mad for her-he's hidden his feelings so well. Meanwhile, her father turns up, plunging them into a dangerous series of events that reach their climax at bucolic Alresford Hall, where Mary has retired to reconsider what she believes is Isaac's reluctant proposal.
[retrieved from Amazon 4/20/2012]