As a proud American, Lad Walker had nothing but contempt for his father's homeland and the English earl who had disinherited him long ago. But when he first set eyes on Diana Whitleby, his grandfather's goddaughter, he knew he would do anything to win her love, even assume the earldom of Kerlaine and strive to rescue the estate from the poverty into which it had fallen.
As much as she loved him in return, Diana had made a prior commitment to protect the castle, the land, and the tenants at all costs. She knew her beloved American husband could not understand her feelings, anymore than he could fit into his role as the earl, but when he lost the entire estate on the turn of a card, Diana was forced to send him away until he could earn the money to redeem it.
For the first several months of his exile, Lad's efforts met with nothing but failure. Then he had the good fortune to run into a real-life guardian angel who taught him how to behave like an English gentleman and helped him find an honorable way to win back his inheritance and his wife. Under his tutelage, Lad began to understand the English social system and, indeed, his own responsibilities as the earl of Kerlaine.
What a shock, then, to return to Kerlaine with the means to redeem it, only to find his wife preparing to honor a dastardly wager of her own!
The last of Mary Spencer's "Wager" trilogy, this book may be the best of them all. Not only does it portray the triumph of true love over evil, but it makes even this patriotic American reader begin to understand and appreciate the purposes and benefits of the English class system.