The death of Callie Scott's fashionable father left her with nothing - except an inquisitive mind not even her grandmother's puritanical upbringing could quash. An adventurous spirit doesn't get her much in New York City, however, except an abysmal position as a ladies maid. Things are looking up when she lands a trial job in a library. Her benefactor's offer of wine before noon should have signaled something amiss.
When a nearly naked woman crashes into his arms, Paul, the new Earl of Latterly, knows he's left his monk-like world behind. Raised apart from females by his misogynist father, Paul hardly knows how to speak with the delightful girl who's dashed out of the dance hall. But in a single night's tryst, they discover a passion he's long denied himself. Yet to his dismay, he learns Emma is the adopted sister of the very man he seeks: the true heir to the earldom, Paul's ne'er-do-well cousin.
Strong-willed Miss Mary Dunaway had a plan for her future and she would stop at nothing to reach her goal of working with the poor in London. She was even willing to ask a gentleman, a stranger, to help her. Twelve years later, the same gentleman reappears in her life. Although he doesn't seem to recall her, she remembers every detail of the kisses they shared. The attractive Lord Fellington apparently sees her as the saintly, nun-like matron of the foundling asylum.