Elizabeth Bennet decides not to travel with her relations to Derbyshire, the home of her rejected suitor. Instead, she accepts an invitation to go to Brighton, home of the famous sea baths and circulating libraries.
Though Elizabeth expects a relaxing summer in which she experiences the attractions of a beautiful city in the company of a dear companion, she finds so much more, including the friendship of a mysterious widow whose motives are difficult to discern.
But Elizabeth also makes a painful discovery when she learns that gentlemanly manners can disguise immoral habits and a hatred so intense as to drive a man to do anything to make his despised enemy suffer. The arrival of the man whose attentions she had spurned only serves to discompose Elizabeth and make the situation even more volatile. Can Elizabeth find true love amid such turmoil?