Absolutely, positively, never would Lady Lucy Powell settle for an arranged marriage to Lord Lathrop, a man she had never even met. With her riot of red curls and sparkling green eyes, Lucy lacked the fair beauty of her sisters, but she did have imagination. She intended to live as a free spirit, penning tales of Gothic intrigue and love triumphant. Only a man as mysterious and passionate as the heroes of her secret dreams could ever win her hand. Someone very much like the handsome, brooding stranger who had recently moved into nearby Lathrop Castle to ready it for the dukes arrival. Exuding an air of reckless abandon as he galloped across the moor, Phillip Carmichael was perfect. Indeed, from their first meeting, he inspired a tendre that rendered Lucy breathless. But no work of fiction could have prepared her for the truth about this dashing scoundrel. And nothing, not even Phillips dire secret, would keep her from the alter with the man she loved.