Richard Clairmond is at the end of his tether. Having just returned from war, he is near-penniless; then he pratically mortgages his estates when he loses at table to Lord Wyvern. He is desperate, thinking about what financial ruin would mean to his sister; then Teufel appears, offering him a bargain he cannot refuse. His gambling debts will be forgiven if he seduces and abandons Eveline Seton, a merchant's daughter. What could be simpler?
Except that Richard finds he has a conscience after all, and cannot abandon Eveline - despite the fact that this then gets him in even deeper with Teufel. He becomes increasingly desperate, and in such circumstances what hope is there for Eveline?
And yet Eveline cannot abandon him any more than he could her, and she is stronger than he thinks.
This is a captivating book, with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. There is also a secondary romance - completely unexpected to Richard but blindingly obvious to anyone else, and which apart from anything else provides one reason why Richard need never have dealt with Teufel in the first place.
Very readable, and a keeper.