Impatient to find his bride-to-be yet appalled by the damsels of the ton, Charles St. Austell leaps at the chance to help his ex-commander Dalziel by investigating rumors of spies operating via smuggling gangs near Charles's Cornwall home. The first strange thing Charles discovers is Lady Penelope Selborne, neighbor and ex-lover, marching through his house after midnight. Years ago, Charles and Penny shared one fabulously passionate interlude, but ever since, she's managed to avoid him. Now Charles uncovers a web of Selborne family secrets and a spy network others are also searching for-and trapped in the middle is Penny, the one lady he has never ceased wanting for his own.
But twist follows twist and nothing is what it seemed - Charles has his hands full unravelling the truth about the spying, unmasking an assassin intent on killing all Selbornes, including Penny, while simultaneously convincing that independent lady that she and only she will do for him - and he for her.