"Nick's youthful defection had ruined Emily's prospects.Unwittingly compromised into a hasty marriageEmily gives him a devil of a time as he struggles to win back her trust and love." Mid Victorian story of the prodigal son.
Emily Lovenye had loved Nicholas Hollander once upon a time. He had nearly ruined her reputation by kissing her in full view of the entire town, and the next day he had been gone without a word. Emily spent the next seven years nursing her broken heart and trying desperately to find a way to support her father (the town vicar) and her young brother. Emily is about to embark on a journey to London as a governess when she learns that Nicholas, and her young brother, have returned from a voyage at sea. Emily sneaks into the house only to discover that her brother and two other sailors have blue cholera. Emily must remain at Nicholas' house until the epidemic has subsided, which is surely to shred her reputation even further!
Nicholas had fancied Emily when she was a young girl, and the ill-fated kiss had proved ruinous for both of them. Not only was Emily's reputation shattered, but Nicholas had been forced to travel to India the next day by his overbearing father. Nicholas spent seven years in exile, returning to England only once his cold-hearted, manipulative father died and left Nicholas earl. Nicholas regretted leaving Emily all those years before, but he had had no choice in the matter. His chance to redeem himself in her eyes, however, presented itself when Emily unknowingly walked into the middle of a cholera outbreak. Nicholas offered to marry her to save what was left of her reputation, and Emily agreed. Can this marriage of convenience turn into a love match?
Inheriting an Earldom had obviously gone to Nicholas Hollander's head.He had left Emily's reputation in tatters years ago, how could he expect her to marry him now?.....now Emily is giving him a devil of a time trying to win her trust and turn their union into wedded bliss.