When Persephone Lancaster receives a marriage proposal from the ill-tempered Duke of Kielder, she refuses - and then reconsiders. The obscene sum of money he's offering Persephone would save her family from ruin. With her characteristic optimism, she travels to the far reaches of Northumberland to wed a greatly feared stranger. Lodged deep in a thick forest infested with wild dogs, the Duke's castle is as cold and forbidding as the Duke himself, a man with terrible scars on his body and his soul.
When her father dies and leaves her completely destitute, Marion can think of only one thing to do - make a new life for herself. Commencing a life of duplicity, Marion transforms herself into Mary Wood - governess. In possession of a forged letter of recommendation and cloaked in the anonymity of her new identity, she enters a life of self-imposed servitude as teacher and caretaker of young Miss Caroline Jonquil of Farland Meadows.
In the sprawling gardens of their neighboring estates, childhood friends Miles and Elise spent countless pleasant days together in the spirited adventures of youth. They were inseparable - until Elise vanished without a trace. Miles searched, but Elise could not - or would not - be found. After years spent laboring on the family plantation in the West Indies, Miles Linwood is shocked by the unexpected news: He has inherited his distant cousin's estate and the title of Marquess of Grenton.
The future has never looked brighter for once penniless Nickolas Pritchard. Now in possession of an unforeseen legacy from a distant cousin, he can finally woo the exquisite Miss Castleton, belle of the London Season. What better setting for matchmaking than Ty Mynydd, his ancestral home nestled in the untamed hills of Wales? Ideal, indeed...except for the ghost.