The time is 1864 in this third book concerning the romantic adventures of the Hartley brothers and their adopted sister, Natalie, now the Duchess of Lonsworth. The second Brother, Robin, the Earl of Manningley, falls madly in love with a beautiful young widow, Jonquil Jamison, Duchess of Allerton. Unfortunately, Jonquil's marriage, though short in duration, was so appalling she is determined to never marry again. So, although she falls in love with Robin, she rebuffs his advances. Meanwhile Robin's younger brother, Brian, now a successful painter living in Paris, has fallen hopelessly in love with Miss Jenny Helliwell and she with him. Jenny, a young lady rescued from dire circumstances by Robin, is secretary to the brothers' grandmother, Lady Pepper. Alas, due to a slip of the tougue upon their first meeting, Brian believes Jenny to be Robin's intended, so to Jenny's utter dismay and his eternal regret, he does not declare his love. The two men's predicament is not aided by each believing that the other has designs on the lady he loves. But after a spring and summer of torments and misunderstandings at balls in London, the races and a church fete in Epsom, they all return home to Yorkshire where two startling incidents occur that change their lives forever.