Sebastian Grey is in limbo. He is the heir presumptive to the Earl of Newbury, unless the current earl, a widower, can find a bride who will bear him a son. Newbury is in his sixties and somewhat portly, but as an earl he's considered quite a catch. Sebastian, on the other hand, is twenty-nine and extremely handsome, but in no hurry to find a wife.
Annabel Winslow, a country girl through and through, has received an offer to go to London for the season. The eldest of a family of eight, she knows that a good marriage might be the only thing that will save her family from ruin. After a few weeks in town, Annabel attracts the attention of the Earl of Newbury. The thought of submitting to him makes her skin crawl, but she is practical and determined to do her duty. Even when Sebastian Grey comes on the scene.