Hawkeswell has found himself in a bit of a muddle. Two years ago he married a heiress so that he could replenish his empty coffers. Unfortunately the bride dissaperead on her wedding day. Now he can't get her fortune, and he can't marry another woman. And then, while visiting the Rarest Blooms with his friend Sebastian (hero of Ravishing in Red) he sees her again - his wife Verity.
Verity has been blackmailed into marrying Hawkeswell by her cousin. When she found out that he didn't stick to his part of the deal she ran away. She spent the last two years hiding, waiting for her 21st birthday and her majority. And then she sees her husband again. And he refuses to allow her an annulment, but insist on continuing their marriage. And then he decides to seduce her with kisses.
Their roots are very different. He is an earl born and bred to take over the title, and she is a daughter of a mine owner (or something like that). Verity especially is aware of the difference of their status, particularly when she goes to her hometown and when she notices that everyone treats her differently - she's not one of them anymore, but a countess.
My main problem with the book is that wit was really slow and boring, mostly in the beginning. But when I passed that it picked up in the second half.
Castleford as always is great. :-)