The few wedding guests crowding around them waited for Berrington's response which was long in coming. Belinda saw their smirks and heard their muffled laughter.
She felt the sting of tears in her eyes at the long pause and realized she could not undo what she had done. The awful deed had come to roost in her heart.
She wished he would say no. She'd rather be jilted than that awful hesitation in which everyone looked at each other, some with smirks of "I told you so."
Finally, Lord Berrington's voice rang out--loud, impatient and clear: "I do."
Society shuns Belinda Presley when her mother's scheme results in a forced offer of marriage from Richard Branston, the Earl of Berrington, the man she loves in secret.
Warm conversations during the day and passionate nights of love at night on their three-days' journey give Belinda the only happiness she has ever known. Yet on arriving at Winterhill, Belinda feels the family's animosity, as the earl, unaware of the danger she leaves her in and still resentful, returns to London.
Her only friend, Lord Wilbur, and solitary walks, are her solace, but Belinda's enemies' hatred soon place her in extreme peril.