Ruinous Rumors . . . While in Exeter, the Earl of Rockhurst is distracted by a most provocative young woman. Initially touched by her affection for the little girl in her care, he changes his mind after witnessing a distasteful scene between the "lady" and a flamboyant young rogue. Shocked at the young woman's apparent impropriety, Rockhurst scolds her harshly, only to get a tongue-lashing in return . . .
What the Earl doesn't know is that the "scandalous" woman is actually Catherine Parrish, a respectable widow who is being harassed by a scoundrel determined to tarnish her good name. When Rockhurst learns the truth of the matter, he feels compelled to intervene on her behalf before more vicious lies can be spread. Can the Earl repair Catherine's damaged reputation — and, more importantly, rekindle love in her lonely heart?