After the deaths of her parents and the loss of her brother to impressment by the British navy, Amelia, now 29 years old, goes to live with an aunt as a companion. Amelia's father, the third son of a high ranking nobleman, married a Parson's daughter, resulting in his father disowning him. The aunt, twice widowed, is now scheming to continue to marry up by ensnaring the Duke of Caversham. After a chance encounter with Amelia, the Duke is interested in knowing more about her, but before this can happen in a more conventional way, an unfortunate encounter in the Library at night occurs between the Duke, Amelia, and the Aunt. Amelia is no shrinking violet and stands up to her aunt and the Duke, refusing to marry him. He has to work hard to persuade her that he wants her and is serious about marrying again. It turns out that one of his long-time friends is Amelia's uncle and he arranges for her to meet the family she never knew. Her paternal grandfather is now deceased and the rest of the family is eager to meet her. He is also able to discover where her brother is and establishes communication with him via letters.
I enjoyed reading the story for a variety of reasons. First, even though Amelia encounters grief and hardship, her spirit and confidence in herself gives her the courage to stand up to both her aunt and the Duke and make decisions for herself about her future. Also, even though the Duke was considerably older than her (by about 20 years) and a wealthy nobleman, she didn't feel or act inferior to him. She made the decision about marrying him based on her feelings and attraction as opposed to money, power, and escaping her scheming Aunt.
There was some sexual content, so if this isn't for you, be forewarned or just skip over it. The story is a bit predictable but worth the read.