A ROMANTIC TRADITION . . .
Tradition held that at eighteen years of age, all the Heartland ladies met the man they would marry at the Valentine's Day Ball. So it was that Miss Jane Lindsay was on the shelf at the advanced age of twenty-four -- for when she was eighteen her mother had died and the crucial ball had been canceled. Now the mistress of Heartland, she was in fact happy with her lot and accustomed to the idea that romance had passed her by. So she was quite annoyed with herself when a certain gentleman -- if he could be called such -- had completely overset her composure at this year's Valentine's Day Ball and made her feel like nothing so much as a naive debutante fresh out of the schoolroom . . .
A SHOCKING PAST . . .
Newly arrived home after ten years on a barbarous island to atone for sins committed in his youth, Lord Devlin was swarthily tanned, shockingly indifferent to social conventions, and dangerously seductive. It amused him to find ways to bring a blush to the virtuous Miss Lindsay's fair cheeks. Although she had turned down his offer to purchase the Heartland estate, Devlin had never been one to take no for an answer. He had a way of divining a lady's weaknesses. And once he had penetrated Miss Lindsay's defenses, he intended to make her an offer she couldn't refuse . . .