The Earl of Cariston is faced with insuperable problems as he has completely run out of money. He has sold everything on his estate that he can, but even so there is nothing he can do to support those who rely on him and they are on the verge of starvation. In desperation he calls into his Club to find an old friend, Lord Shield, and tells him all his woes. Lord Shield is in a bad way himself, but does suggest that he visits a certain Mr. Randon who is temporarily in London and beg for his help. Mr. Randon has made a fortune in America and used to be a good friend of the Earl's father. The Earl goes off in some trepidation to a hotel to meet Mr. Randon, who is very ill and on the verge of dying. He tells him his sad story and is astonished when Mr. Randon makes him a most extraordinary proposition. If he will agree to marry his daughter, Kristina, at eleven o'clock the next morning, the Earl will receive a very large sum to rescue and restore his estate! The Earl has no option but to accept and is faced with marrying someone he has never met within just a few hours. Equally Kristina is forced into marriage with a complete stranger by her forceful father. How the Earl and Kristina manage to cope with their joint predicament, find out about each other and eventually gain everything theirs hearts could desire is told in this enthralling romantic story by BARBARA CARTLAND.