Widowed Lady Charlotte Hobart and her two young daughters have lived comfortably under her father- in-law's roof, but everything changes on his death. The new Lord Hobart fills Easterley Manor with his disreputable friends and treats Charlotte with contempt. With no money, and nowhere to go, she feels suddenly bereft–and not a little frightened. Viscount Stacey Darton wants to protect Charlotte, and to do that he has to pretend to be as bad as the rest of the unwelcome houseguests. It's obvious to Stacey that this tall, elegant lady is no light-skirt but a true gentlewoman. She is also proud, so whatever he does to help her must be done in secret.