Beautiful young orphan Nerina is appalled to find that her uncle and resentful Guardian is forcing her much-loved cousin, Elizabeth, into a marriage of convenience with the disdainful, if handsome and rich, Sir Rupert Wroth.
As if that was not bad enough, Elizabeth is already secretly betrothed to the man she truly loves, an Captain in the Army.
So loyal Nerina exploits her startling similarity to her cousin and takes her place, marrying Lord Wroth and giving Elizabeth time to elope with Adrian Butler, who is about to sail to India with his Regiment.
Having suffered terribly at the hands of her hateful Uncle Herbert and the lecherous Lord Droxburgh, Nerina has come to the conclusian that she hates all men.
And, having discovered that Sir Rupert Wroth’s plans to marry Elizabeth were nothing more than a means to carry on his illicit affairs, while keeping up appearances for the sake of Queen Victoria and his ambitious political career, she makes no exception for him.
But what if, in spite of herself, the irrepressible turmoil that Nerina feels in her heart is not hate after all, but the first stirrings of love?