A stolen jewel. An inappropriate attraction. One simple wish that complicates everything.
Nigel Ballantyne, 11th Earl of St. Vincent, is suffering from ennui. On the verge of turning forty, he’s bored and languishing. Ten years retired from the spy life, he’s finding the responsibilities his title demands are not enough to hold his attention. Unfortunately, neither do the ladies within the beau monde. All that changes when the widow of one of his best friends attends the same society event he does, and damn if she’s not more attractive than she’s ever been. Too bad she can’t be trusted.
Rachel Balfour—Lady Cavanagh—has been without purpose since her husband’s death. Thinking herself a failure in every way a ton woman might be, she lacks direction and wants to hide from wagging tongues. Upon a chance meeting with her husband’s best friend at a ball, her spirits change as does her mindset when he puts forth a completely madcap plan to reclaim an expensive jewel. Despite the fact his devilish grin tipped her acquiescence, their prior history might sour the deal.
While the unlikely pair scheme through summertime London, forced proximity sets a match to the simmering passion between them into an inferno. As the jewel they chase eventually falls into the hands of a dangerous enemy of the earl’s past, life quickly turns complicated. Unless Nigel and Rachel put their own fears and insecurities aside, more than the bauble will be lost, and there will be no time for another second chance at romance.