When the handsome Marquis of Swayne is injured in a nasty carriage accident, his servants carry him to the house of the local physician, where he is nursed back to health by Doctor Winsford's beautiful eldest daughter, Rowena.
On his way to recovery the Marquis is surprised to find that the family is unable to provide the fine food and drink he is used to and discovers that the household and its children are considerably impoverished by the doctor's over-generosity to his poorer patients and anyone else he feels sorry for. And immediately the Marquis sets about remedying the situation.
Almost at first sight the Marquis falls in love with Rowena, and she with him, and it seems that all her dreams of love and happiness have come true until she is horrified and disillusioned to find that the Marquis's excessive obsession with his family name and social status means that he will not marry her.
Instead he means to keep Rowena in a luxurious house in London as his mistress.
With her dreams in shreds Rowena's love turns to hate and she is determined to beat the man she loves in a battle of will and wits and with a little assistance from her family.
But she cannot avoid her destiny. And nor can the Marquis.