Adela Ross is reduced to singing in Macreadies’ sordid supper club in Edinburgh to keep bread on the table and a roof over her head.
Sir William Urquhart must marry within a month or forfeit the estates and fortune left to him by his uncle.
When Adela falters on stage in front of a rough crowd, Will intervenes and rescues her. Impressed by her determination and spirit in the face of adversity, Will decides that she may be the solution to his awkward problem. He asks her to marry him: purely for convenience. It is to be a business arrangement so that they can both save their families from misery and poverty.
Adela says yes, although her sisters chide her for it, fearing for her happiness. But how can she refuse such a tempting proposal? She will be an independent woman of means, while Will goes away to Rome, a husband in name only.
But after their hasty marriage they go to Balnagowan, Will’s enchanting Highland estate, and the trouble begins. Obliged by circumstances to pretend it is a love match, Adela finds her resolve to stay aloof from Will crumbling fast. The game of playing happy husband and wife is seductive enough and Will is dangerously attractive. But there are a hundred question marks about his past and no satisfactory answers. Can Adela resist a man who looks likely to break her heart? Is it such a tempting proposal after all?
A sparkling early Victorian romance from the acclaimed author of The Northminster Mysteries.