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Mannerling, the splendid family estate gambled away by Sir Beverley, remains the passionate desire of his daughters. Beverley himself has died and the eldest daughter, Isabella - having failed in her bid to reclaim their home - is blissfully wed. The mantle of savior then falls to the next eldest daughter, Jessica. How fortunate that the new owner of Mannerling has a marriageable son. In truth, Harry is a brutal lecher, a drunkard, and a wastrel, but Jessica, blinded by determination, vows to secure a betrothal. She is barely aware of the attentions of handsome, charming Professor Robert Sommerville, whose affection for Jessica is equaled only by the fear that her obsession to secure Mannerling will lead to disaster for all concerned. As scandal and intrigue swirl around her, Jessica must discover where the heart finds true happiness.