Lady Clarissa Pomeroy finds herself in need of a husband if she is to keep her inheritance in 1886 England. Her most likely candidate is Simon Sinclair, Earl of Sheridan, an acquaintance of her late grandfather's whom Clarissa has loved and admired for some time. Fortunately, Simon agrees to Clarissa's proposal, and the pair are wed.
Though they are physically attracted to one another, both Simon and Clarissa feel that each is not fully trusting the other. Clarissa is reluctant to involve Simon in her charity work because she is afraid that he will curtail it. Simon can't believe that Clarissa appears to exert such control over him, making him feel things he has never felt before.
Patricia Waddell has written a pleasing historical which explores the complexities of love and obediance in a nineteenth century marriage. The heroine struggles to be seen as a woman of intelligence and value as more than an ornament on her husband's arm and the bearer of his heirs. The complexities of the main characters carry this novel to a satisfactory conclusion.