Tremaine St. Michael is firmly in trade and seeks only to negotiate the sale of some fancy sheep with the Earl of Bellefonte. The earl’s sister, Lady Nita, is pragmatic, hard-working, and selfless, though Tremaine senses she’s also tired of her charitable obligations and envious of her siblings’ marital bliss.
Tremaine, having been raised among shepherds, can spot another lonely soul, no matter how easily she fools her own family. Neither Tremaine nor Nita is looking for love, but love comes looking for them.
Consummate man of business and rake at large, Worth Kettering, repairs to his country estate to sort out his familial situation, trusting the ever efficient (though as yet unmet) housekeeper, Jacaranda Wyeth, will provide his family a pleasant summer retreat. To his surprise, his household is manage by a quick-witted, violet-eyed Amazon who’s his match in many regards.
As Jacaranda and Worth become enamored, the family she’s kept hidden from him, the financial clients Worth feels singularly protective of, and the ragged state of affairs between Worth and his estranged older brother Hessian all conspire to keep Worth and Jacaranda apart. Worth must choose between love and profit, and Jacaranda must decide between loyalty to her family, and the love of a man who values her above all others.
Though there are lines he will not cross, Darius Lindsey has become the favored plaything of bored, wealthy society ladies. He contracts one final engagement with the pretty, sweet, Lady Vivian Longstreet, in hopes that meeting his obligations to Vivian will free him from the financial constraints making his life hell. Darius finds that the bargain he thought would cost him the last of his self-respect instead resurrects both his honor and his heart.
Guinevere Hollister, cousin to the Marquis of Heathgate, has fashioned a life as a poor relation, raising her daughter Rose in rural obscurity and focusing her considerable passion and intellect on stewarding the estate they live on. Douglas Allen, Viscount Amery, is sent to Gwen by their mutual relations for lessons in husbandry of the land. As Douglas and Gwen find common ground, and then mutual pleasure, Gwen’s past rises up in the person of the powerful Duke of Moreland, who is bent on wresting control of Rose from her mother, even if that means Gwen must marry the Moreland heir.