Lady Isabella Fortescue has tired of trying to bring a man up to scratch. At thirty-one, she’s put herself on the shelf and is glad for it, except she wants to have one splendid folly to call her own before that happens. But the unorthodox arrival of a horribly rude man makes her think even a scandal isn’t possible.
Captain Peregrine St. John has sworn off women—indefinitely. With the ill-luck of his last relationship fresh in his mind, he retires from naval service sporting a wound and a shattered heart. Rustication proves beyond boring, and a visit to a gypsy fair has him face down in the mud on a stormy afternoon. The heated admonishment from a lady only further cements his attitude on the fairer sex.
As fate would have it, Isabella and Peregrine are neighbors in Buckinghamshire. As country social life throws them together, tempers rise with each new meeting and sparks fly. Verbal banter gives way to wicked glances, and teasing kisses flare into passion on one glorious night. Fortune might predict happiness or foolish error, but love can only bloom if they listen to true desires hidden deep inside their hearts.