Lord Rupert Carrington, heir apparent to the Marquess of Lansdowne and former captain in His Majesty’s Royal Navy, cannot forget the girl he loved in his youth, who died after he left to fight in the war against Napoleon. Guilt-ridden, Rupert buries his regret by helping the London detectives of Bow Street take down criminals. But when Rupert ferrets out a ring of smugglers and is marked for death, the prince regent banishes him to a remote corner of England to live among the locals and be known only by his title of captain. Thus, Rupert will remain safe until the villains are arrested and brought to court, where he will offer testimony critical to their conviction.
On the first day of Rupert’s exile to the wilds of Devon, he meets Alexandra Dancy, a beautiful country miss whose complex character and extraordinary courage stir in him a degree of affection and admiration he has not yet felt for any lady. As fate or Providence would have it, Alexandra and her family, whose property backs his on the other side of a canal, have been hired to provide Rupert’s meals and to care for his house and stables.
When Rupert’s friendship and warm attentions awaken Alexandra’s heart, she suffers the torment of loving a man she believes is of a higher social class than he pretends, and therefore beyond her reach. The impoverished Dancys hide their own aristocratic origins to protect a dark secret known to only one man Cecil Bedford, a blackguard of the first order, who wields a cruel power over Alexandra and her family. Can Rupert save her from Bedford’s clutches and topple the seemingly insurmountable barriers to winning her love and her hand?