Having regained his fortune, Lucas, Earl of Ravenstone, has to marry in order to keep it. Luckily, he won’t have to search for a wife - he’s known her name since their marriage was arranged in their youth. To fulfill his duty, he travels far from London Society to claim a fiancée who would no doubt be thrilled at the prospect of finally being able to use his name and become his countess.
Penelope Maitland has already been using Lucas’s name - to fend off her stepfamily’s creditors. After wasting decades waiting for him, she reckons it’s only fair she gets something out of her long-standing betrothal before she hears Lucas has married someone else.
When they accidentally meet in a coaching inn, she finds herself fighting dangerous girlhood fantasies about marrying the man of her dreams who broke her heart with his apparent lack of interest. And Lucas finds that in order to keep his fortune, he will have to lose his heart to a woman who is tired of waiting for him.