As long as a lady has hope in her heart, it doesn't matter the obstacles she faces on the path to love.
Miss Evelina Aston is the youngest child of a viscount. Through no fault of her own, she’s fallen headfirst into the scandal of the Season. With her father on the brink of bankruptcy, when she’s caught alone and in a compromising position with an earl, he calls for an immediate proposal. It doesn’t matter that the man she’s being forced to wed is a rake high on the instep, she has no say in the proceedings.
Charles Bowling, Earl of Ethersham—and heir to the Duke of Tarkington—is in rather a spot of bother. Caught literally with his pants down in a lady’s retiring room at a ball, he’s mired in further disgrace when a woman—not the one he was waiting for—comes flying into the room, trips, and lands at his feet. Parental outrage ensues, and before he can protest, he’s wedded to the shy lady, and they’re bound for his father’s country estate in the Lake District to begin their life of married inconvenience.
With tarnished reputations and gossip trailing in their wake, both Evelina and Charles are forced to endure each other’s company. As the July days go by, desire flares as hot as the summer sun while they explore the woodlands and fells, but differences and misunderstandings keep widening the gulf in their relationship. Unless they find trust and compromise, they’ll never be able to build something worthy of the future and perhaps love