Written by Barbara Cartland
The Marquis of Stowe is on the verge of a dreadful scandal that threatens to ruin both him and the lovely, but married, Lady Burnham. Knowing that their secret is out and that her husband will be plotting revenge, the Marquis casts about desperately for a way to avoid the scandal, which he knows is inevitable despite the wealth and good looks that have made him a darling of the Beau Monde. Seeing a perfect solution, he decides to offer marriage to the Duke of Dawlish’s daughter and leaves for the country. Surely the Duke will be grateful for his daughter to make such a match? There is only one problem marrying the Duke’s daughter might provide a way out of his current dilemma, but having met her the Marquis is dismayed by her dullness. Horrified at the sacrifice he would have to make, he suddenly realises that there is another way to put the cuckolded husband off the scent and preserve his freedom as long as he can find a young woman happy to go along with his seemingly fool proof idea. Eager to renew his acquaintance with Ajanta Tiverton, the beautiful daughter of a local Vicar, the Marquis hurtles to the Vicarage to tell her his plan and the role that only she can play. Certain that this will get him out of immediate danger and sure that he can offer an attractive financial incentive to help the impoverished family, it seems that if their daring charade is successful everyone involved will benefit. All Ajanta has to do is play her part and all will be well. Swept into a rich luxurious world they have never known before, the Marquis sets out to charm the Vicar and Ajanta’s sisters. Delighted by their new surroundings and excited by the attention of the eloquent Marquis they cannot believe the happiness Ajanta has bought into their lives. But the Marquis is not the only one masking the truth Ajanta too has a family secret she would prefer not to share and, as the deception continues and feelings run high, she cannot help but worry what will happen in the final Act of their play and where the curtain will fall.