John Fitzhugh Wyckerly has been the spare heir all his life, supporting himself with gambling and charm. The news that he's inherited the bankrupt title of earl of Danecroft shatters his indolent world. Even penniless, he's always paid his debts, but now the estate's creditors are closing in. He can fake his death and run for cover or accept overwhelming responsibility and find a rich wife - one who will also accept his illegitimate terror of a daughter.
Blake Montague's draconian temper and clever mind belong on the Continent, decoding French communications. Instead, as the youngest son of a baron, he's terrorizing London ballrooms in search of a wife who will buy the commission he can't afford. Jocelyn Carrington, after years of smiling through the pain inflicted by an uncaring family, has just inherited a fortune. Now she can buy the special home with an aviary her eccentric younger brother needs - but Blake Montague's family owns it.
Having married once out of desperation, the virgin widow Lady Belden has no intention of giving up her independence - until her long-lost siblings arrive on her doorstep. By law their guardianship belongs to the power-hungry marquess of Belden, but Bell will defy law and society to keep her newly reunited family together. Formidable in trade, unlucky in love, Lord Quentin Hoyt has eyed Lady Bell from afar - not just because she possesses the family fortune but because she's the most desirable woman he's ever met.
Nora Adams believes she is only a schoolteacher and a poor seaman's widow until the day she inherits a fortune, and her mother sends her to London to deliver a mysterious message to a newly arrived foreign princess - who looks much like Nora. Once Princess Elena receives Nora's missive, she steals Nora's identity and vanishes. Left adrift in unfamiliar waters wearing ill-fitting royal shoes, Nora determinedly sets out in search of the real royal.