She married an aged duke to protect her smuggler father from the hangman's noose. After his death, she devotes herself to protecting her young stepson from the evil viscount who stands to gain a dukedom at his death. How very frustrating that the only man who can help her protect her stepson is the same man who blames her for his younger brother's heartbreak and subsequent death in the war against Napoleon.
The Earl of Langley fights his attraction to this beautiful woman, believing, as he does, that she is a cruel seductress. As the two are drawn closer together by their determination to protect the young duke, however, his eyes are opened to her true character, and he decides to make her his mistress. It's only after that suggestion is firmly rejected that he becomes determined to make her his wife.
But even after he has resolved the problem of the murderous viscount and discovered her Gypsy heritage, she still refuses to legally become his wife, since she knows that marrying a Gypsy will forever make him persona non grata in London society. How can he prove to her that their love is all that matters?