Written by Barbara Cartland
Returning to his family estate after a long absence in India serving the much-loved and now-deceased Viceroy, Michael the Earl of Rayburne, is appalled to find the estate and the local village has gone to rack and ruin.
It seems the uncle to whom he had entrusted them has embezzled everything Michael owns – including the contents of the Castle – and decamped to America.
Penniless and unable to pay the estate’s workers and pensioners, who are on the verge of starvation, he has no choice but to throw himself on the mercy of Lord Frazer, owner of the neighbouring estate and his family’s bitter enemy in an age-old land dispute.
To Michael’s astonishment, the hateful Lord Frazer offers not a loan but a gift – amounting to £50,000 – in order to combine their two estates. But there is one other condition. Michael must immediately marry Lord Frazer’s young daughter, whom he has never even met.
Although now he can begin rescue the estate and its people from ruin, Michael is in despair, certain that Lord Frazer’s daughter will be an ugly harridan who can never become the beloved “Lady in the Castle” like his late and much-loved mother –
But everything changes when he sees his bride. Her face is heart-shaped. Her hair is pale gold, “like the sun at dawn” – little wonder that soon the young Earl of Rayburne realises he is falling in love.