It was common gossip that “Duff” D’Abernon, Marquis of Darley, had returned from Waterloo a changed man. Gone was the reckless youth and in his place was a sullen recluse more interested in tending his horses than attending balls. But now the marquis was entering the game again, openly flirting with the beautiful, witty, and thoroughly disreputable Annabelle Foster.
Annabelle’s no stranger to scandal. The actress-playwright is rumored to have had liaisons with any number of powerful men, with an illegitimate daughter to show for it. She won’t chance heartache again, even for a man as tempting as Duff D’Abernon. What she offers instead is a compromise: a true friendship between equals.
Each agrees to the terms. A bargain is struck. And an idyllic summer begins. But what starts as friendship soon blossoms into searing passion. And the only thing worse than risking their hearts is not risking them at all . . .