Mellie Smithson is trapped in the country with no suitors and no prospects on the horizon except, perhaps, the exasperating - although admittedly handsome - guest of her father. Unwilling to settle, Mellie will do anything to escape to London.
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As the illegitimate son of a duke, Bramwell Wesley Hallowsby grew up tough, on the fringes of society, learning to hide his hurt and cynicism with charm and Town polish. He's carved out a place for himself as a mercenary, serving as bodyguard and general strong arm for the peerage. Bram has nothing to lose, and he's exactly what Maybelle "Bluebell" Ballenger needs.
Mari Powel's fiery Welsh temper is up. Peter Norwood, Lord Whitly, is back in town after six years romping around India making his fortune. Mari blames him for her social downfall and has spent all this time clawing her way back into the town's good graces. How dare he show up on his first day back and publicly embroil her in a bet involving long-awaited apologies, illicit kisses, and Lady Illston's unruly parakeet?