Lady Novella Crownley has been teaching at a girls' school far from her ancestral home, Crownley Hall. One day her mother asks her to return. She leaves at once only to find that so much has changed since her last visit home. Her beloved father, the Earl of Crownley, had died some years earlier, leaving her mother lonely and unable to cope on her own. Unknown to Novella, her mother remarried and the first time she meets her new stepfather, Lord Buckton. In her absence, Lord Buckton has been selling off everything at the hall he could lay his hands on to pay for his debts and lavish lifestyle, and also plans to sell the house and the estate as well. To her horror, Novella discovers he sold her favourite horse to a near neighbour, Sir Edward Moreton. She was deeply suspicious of the charming and handsome Sir Edward, but her heart softens when he invites her to ride her horse again.