When Lord Francis Kneller first sees Cora Downes, she is tripping over her own feet, shrieking, and laughing rather too loudly. His conclusion is that she is a frightful young lady. When Cora first sees Lord Francis, he is wearing a bright satin turquoise coat with silver and turquoise striped waistcoat and silver knee breeches and copious amounts of lace. She immediately thinks of peacocks. Cora has a habit of getting herself into dreadful scrapes, and Lord Francis always seems to be close enough to get her out of them--at the cost of compromising her once too often. Soon this ill-assorted pair is forced into a marriage neither of them has sought.