Wealthy businessman John Gardner counts his wife, the widowed Countess Napier, as his finest possession. Beautiful, refined, and a devoted mother, the countess has the one thing that all his money cannot buy: a place in society. When she dies still grieving for her first husband, the volatile Mr Gardener decides that his stepdaughter, Lady Selina, should become his passport into the titled classes. Eager to fit into a world that values birthright over cash, he decides to marry her off to the highest bidder. But he hasn?t bargained for his vivacious stepdaughter?s willful defiance. Selina flees the harsh discipline of Gardener Manor and takes her chances on the open road. Rescued from peril by the Marquis of Castleton, a serious and thoughtful man committed to doing his best for the people of his estate, Selina finds in him an unlikely ally.