Lord Dashell Lonsdale is considered one of the most eligible bachelors in London, but few-even Lord Lonsdale himself-know that despite appearances, his family fortune is not as secure as he believes. When a chance encounter with an unknown lady on the street shakes his seemingly stable world, the young lord has no idea how to react. She collapses at his feet, a frightened child in her arms. She is whisked away before he can even learn her name. She is Caroline, the younger of two daughters of a family that carries a burden of secrets as well. All they know is that their mother’s tongue is silenced not by pride but by fear-and she took her secret to her grave. Now Caroline lives in a house with only her stepfather to guide her. Lord Lonsdale exploits his station to learn of her identity and where she lives. His arrival triggers an angry quarrel between Caroline and her stepfather. Horrified to have caused such tension within her family, he departs with the promise to return the next day. But duty calls him away before he can keep his promise. He learns that, thanks to the gambling debts of his brother, his family is on the brink of financial ruin. He has no choice but to turn his attention to restoring the family’s fortunes and honour. Now Caroline has her own secret to share-and what she must tell him may end their love before it can begin.