When a bridal contract is struck, either parental outrage will void the arrangement or the love of a child will sweeten the deal.
Oliver Darrington—Viscount Tralsburg—wants nothing more than to hide out at the family property in Brighton until he can secure a sea-worthy ship and return to adventuring the world. However, being handed his late mistress' child isn't part of that plan. Neither is the sudden longing for his pretty Italian neighbor.
Eloisa Hawthorne is in dire straits. Her older brother has gambled away her sister's hand to a horrible man. In order to save her sister's virtue and her future, Eloisa needs a fast fortune—or someone who can immediately cover the debt. When her handsome neighbor offers a temporary engagement contract, she accepts with alacrity. Too bad she fell in love with his dark-haired offspring. How scandalous!
When the two host a dinner party for his mother in Brighton society, Oliver wishes the union wasn’t merely a lark. Eloisa fears for the adorable child's upbringing in heathen locales, but what can she do? The contract is only for a month, and love was never an option. Something must be done to throw over convention before the moment is lost and matters of the heart are sacrificed.