Sophie Winstead is utterly perfect, from the top of her tousled honey-brown ringlets to the tips of her dainty pink toes. Indeed, any man in London Society would want her. The problem for Sophie lay in what they wanted from her. For Sophie is the orphaned daughter of one Constance Winstead, the Widow Winstead, mistress of many men during her abbreviated lifetime. Woo her, win her, yes. Marry her? Don’t be ridiculous!
When the Duke of Selbourne and his lovely Connie met an extremely public and indiscreet end at a country party, Sophie was crushed by her double loss, for she had grown to love “Uncle Cesse” very much. She cried for days before her only companion (a French courtesan turned lady’s maid) slowly and carefully brought her back to her usual sunny, perfect self.
The Duke’s son took refuge in anger, railed at the mess his father had left behind, and swore that he would never, never ever, follow in his father’s irresponsible footsteps. For three long years Bramwell Seaton, the new Duke, toed every line, broke no rules; why, he’d even become engaged to the perfect, staid, beauty who would make him a suitable wife. He might not have been precisely a happy man, but he had managed to rub the tarnish from the family escutcheon.
You know what’s coming, right?
Bramwell’s father had left behind a mess he could not ignore, and he suddenly found himself reluctantly chaperoning Sophie for the Spring Season. Sophie - accompanied by her maid, her parrot (a bird with the memory of an elephant), and a larcenous monkey - dazzled everyone in the Duke’s household, from his aunt to the lowliest scullery maid. Why, she even gained the approval of Bramwell’s fiancée, who offered to help steer Sophie in avoiding the many pitfalls of polite Society.
You know who didn’t have any intention of succumbing to Sophie’s charms.
Sophie being who she so naturally was, and Bram being a recent reinvention of the bright, charming man he’d been before his father’s “fall from grace”, it isn’t a question of if the Duke will realize where his true happiness lies, but only one of when.