In a moment of recklessness, Gervase Tregarth, 6th Earl of Crowhurst, swears he'll marry the next eligible lady to cross his path. Cloistered at his ancestral castle in Cornwall, with nary a suitable woman for miles, he never expects he'll have to fulfill his pledge, at least not until the London Season begins. But then he meets his neighbor, the very appealing Madeling Cascoigne. Years of secret service to the Crown have taught Gervase the value of always having a loophole - there will be no wedding is he and Madeline are incompatible in any way. Os he sets out to prove that they would make a most dreadful match. . . by luring her into his arms and, ultimately, his bed. From their very first kiss, Gervase discovers that the headstrong and independent Madeline is no meek county miss. . . and that the fire between them will burn long beyond that first seduction.