Lily our heroine had been forced by circumstances to take to the stage at a tender age to support her younger siblings after their parents died. Forbidden to use the family name- so as not to disgrace the family who had disowned her parents for falling in love and marrying- Lily goes under the assumed name of Mrs. Culhane. To keep unwanted admirers at bay she used a fictitious husband whose both jealous and violent.
Our hero is Damon St. Clair, the Earl of Hawkhurst, also known as London's King of the Green Room. It is said that he's had every actress in London and that one girl even committed suicide when he wanted nothing more to do with her.
Damon is called to Bath by his half sister Phoebe because "disaster has struck" only to find that she wanted a new carriage. However the trip wasn't entirely a waste of time because Damon ran into his young cousin Pel, who as it turned out, has fallen in love with Lily, whom he believes is just "...as unhappily married..." as he is. This coming from the young man who only months before insisted that he could never love any other than Cecilia, now his pregnant wife. Picturing a "...fading beauty: a petite, delicate blonde with languishing mein, pouting mouth, and soulful blue eyes that would gaze with mendacious adoration at Pel.", so what was a concerned cousin to do, but seduce the woman away from Pel and reveal her for the grasping and greedy harpy she is. However things don't quite go as planned when Damon sets his eyes on a woman "...who was more striking than beautiful. ...her emerald eyes gleamed with mischief, and her generous mouth curved in a provocative smile. Her luxurious hair, piled high on her head, and reminded Damon of fine claret. He judged her to be about twenty-five. Taller than most of the admirers gathered round her, she had the carriage of an Amazonian queen." Deciding she was "infinitely superior to Mrs. Culhane" then, to his surprise only to realise that she was Mrs. Culhane and that she wasn't anything like the woman he imagined her to be. So together Lily and Damon conspire to make Pel believe that the two of them are having an affair so as to wean Pel off his infatuation and to turn his affections back to his young wife. A simple plan in theroy that becomes complicated when Lily and Damon fell in love.