Deverell, Viscount Paignton, is in desperate need of a wife. Unmoved by the matchmaking 'herd', he seeks help from his aunt, who directs him to a lady she vows is perfect for him. Dispatched to a country house party, he discovers the lady not swanning about among the guests but with her nose buried in a book in the library. Phoebe Malleson is tempted to distraction by Deverell, but marrying him isn't part of her plan. Unfortunately, telling Deverell to go away doesn't work, and he quickly learns of an incident in her past and a secret cause to which she's committed. But someone powerful has her cause targeted for destruction. Phoebe must accept Deverell's help...though the cost to them both might be dear - and deadly.