Rich, handsome, darling of the ton, the hope of ambitious mothers and despair of his sisters, the Marquis of Alverstoke at seven-and-thirty sees no reason to put himself out for anyone. Until a distant connection, ignorant of his selfishness, applies to him for help.
Plunged willy-nilly into one drama after another by the large and irrepressible Merriville family, Alverstoke is surprised to find himself far from bored. The lovely Charis may be as hen-witted as she is beautiful, but Jessamy is an interesting boy, Felix an engaging scamp. And, most intriguing of all, their strong-minded sister Frederica seems more concerned with her family's welfare than his own distinguished attentions . . .