Here's the story: Emily and Anthony have been in love for years. He went away to war, and when he returned, he and Emily are to marry. Anthony, or Hawk as he is called, marries her quickly, but then keeps his distance from her. Emily is frustrated, and doesn't understand why Hawk won't touch her. There is, of course, a mean stepmother, who belittles Emily. A precocious little brother, who adores Emily. And a mystery, which is a side-story to the love-story. In the end, we learn about Anthony's secrets, and why he has kept his distance. It is a very enjoyable book, and I highly recommend reading it.
A good, light read. The characters have more depth than most Signet Regencies, from the physical and mental scars the hero carries from his years as a soldier to the less-than-perfect heroine. That said, the plot still relies heavily on some cliched characters and relationships, including a Cinderella/Wicked Stepmother theme that is a bit over-the-top.