Damion Templeton, Viscount Woodhurst, is experiencing a problem all too common in Regency romance novels—to satisfy his dying grandmother he needs a bride immediately, but doesn’t care to be married. His plan to hire an actress is altered when fate places indigent school teacher Alix Adams in his path. Explaining his predicament, he finds the young woman willing to assist. Damion escorts Alix and her favorite pupil Elizabeth, falsely identified as her little sister, to his country estate to meet his grandmother. As his lordship’s relationship with the pair develops, evidence indicates that the little girl is Alix’s own baseborn daughter. Alix discovers that the viscount has a self-described fiancée-in-waiting, aware of the deception and all too eager to put her in her place.
Despite an abundance of stock characters—mentoring older female, predatory other woman, precocious child, sneering villain—and misunderstandings piled high, the story is capably written and should appeal to devout fans of the genre.