When his unhappy marriage of convenience comes to a tragic end, Tony, the Earl of Hepplewood, is left alone with his young daughter and force to put his London debauchery on hold in order to find her a governess. After settling his daughter with her new caretaker, Tony is finally free to return to his rakish ways and revolving door of mistresses.
When Isabella Aldridge, a poverty stricken widow with two step-siblings to care for, refuses to marry her dreadful cousin Edgar, she attempts to find work as a governess. Repeatedly rejected by jealous wives and tempted husbands, a desperate Isabella turns to the only option her sinking social status and dark beauty offers: become the mistress of a wealthy nobleman.
Sent to the wilds of Hampshire for the pleasure of a mysterious and fickle client, Isabella is shocked to find Lord Hepplewood, the very same man who denied her employment as his daughter's governess. Tony attempts to turn her away again, but Isabella is determined to succeed at seduction. They succumb to desire and begin an intimate and passionate affaif; but Tony's conscience, Isabella's fierce pride and the nefarious plans of a madman have the power to destroy everything they've created.