The lovely young Nerissa Stanley, her brother, Harry, and their father, a distinguished academic writer on Elizabethan architecture live a threadbare existence in their family home.
So when her beautiful elder sister, Delphine, pays a surprise visit to her and Harry and then offers them a large sum of money, they have no option but to accept.
Delphine, who abandoned the family several years earlier to marry the rich elderly Lord Bramwell is now widowed they learn for the first time.
But she is now set on marrying another rich and prestigious aristocrat — the imperious and handsome Duke of Lynchester. Ashamed of their meagre lifestyle, she demands that her siblings pose as cook and butler in return for three hundred pounds, while she entertains the Duke in style in her ancestral home.
But, after the superb dinner is over, the Duke wanders into the kitchen unexpectedly and, instantly transfixed by the beauty, grace and charm of Nerissa, insists that the whole family joins his house party at his magnificent stately house, Lyn, which is not too far away.
There Nerissa discovers the secret curse of the Lynchester Dukes that they will never be happy once they inherit the title and then, through her special perspicacity and a vivid dream, when she talks to the ghost of a long dead Duchess, she puts the curse to rest.
The Duke’s heart is now set forever on Nerissa and he risks life itself and their future happiness in a cunning but perilous gamble when both of their hearts are at stake.