The continuing saga, set in Pre-Regency Shropshire (1808-1816) involving the gentry at Linmore Hall.
Joshua Norbery vowed never to marry for money, but is forced to accept the unthinkable; when he learns that a mortgage taken out on his family estate has been acquired by the bride’s father. The only way to regain it is to provide a son as heir to his father-in-law’s business empire.
Arthur Bradstone uses the threat of losing Linmore to ensure Joshua’s compliance, but no one seems to have told Joshua’s wife of the part that she is required to play.
Hardly has Joshua overcome the initial difficulties in his marriage, than shadows from his past threaten to tear it apart. There are insidious influences to avoid, secret intrigues with a hint of scandal, as well as a petulant wife to appease and an interfering father-in-law to be endured.
How can Miss Dinchope, the eminently superior housekeeper that Joshua employs, prevent Bradstone from infiltrating the household with his hired minions? Will she succeed, by subterfuge, in training the raw country servants to resist bribery? Is the paragon in black bombazine all she claims to be on her testimonial, and is she, herself, beyond temptation?
Therein is Joshua’s dilemma – for if she is not, how will he respond?
For what maiden lady of indeterminate age, who rules the servants’ hall with a firm hand, would permit a tall, grey-eyed gentleman to disturb her composure?
Part 1 of a marriage of convenience, which would never have taken place if a vital piece of information had been known… And a friendship that begins in an atmosphere of emotional blackmail.