Sterling Baxter, the Earl of Merritt, has married the woman his father has chosen for him, but the marriage has been anything but comfortable. Sterling?s wife, Lady Claire, came to the marriage bed with a wanton?s experience. She dutifully provides Merritt his heir, but within a fortnight, she deserts father and son for a baron, Lord Lyall Sutherland. In the eyes of the ton, Lady Claire has cuckolded Merritt.
Ebba Mayer longs for love and adventure. Unfortunately, she?s likely to find neither. As a squire?s daughter, Ebba holds no sway in Society, but she?s a true diamond of the first water. Yet, when she meets Merritt?s grandmother, the Dowager Countess of Merritt creates a ?story? for the girl, claiming if Ebba is presented to the ton as a war widow with a small dowry, the girl will find a suitable match.