Priscilla Brunell, Marchioness of Rutherford, is in desperate need of a son and heir. Her seventy year old husband of ten years has died leaving her a virgin, due to his impotence, and the protectress of his estates, successfully maintained for three hundred years. If she can’t produce a son in the next nine months, the current heir, Damon, will succeed in ruining the family fortunes in a matter of a few years due to his gaming and womanizing. Dare she ignore her morals and pass another man’s child off as her husband’s? Can she do so without losing her heart?
Soon to be the Viscount Brookfield, Brandon Bradley arrives at a house party, at the insistence of his dying father, to renew. In all rights he should be home marrying Estella and begetting his heir. But he has a hesitation there he can’t explain, only sense. Estella is certainly pleasant enough, attractive enough, but in all their years of friendship he has never felt anything but a coldness, a distance from her. Then he meets Lady Rutherford. Not only can she help him through the grief he is feeling, he is immediately attracted to her. Can he let down his father and Estella merely for his own benefit? Can he break the pattern of society and marry for love?