Spring 1783 . . . Jemma, Duchess of Beaumont, has just returned from Paris and is planning to shock all of London High Society - not to mention horrify her estranged husband - with scandalous soirees and a debauched grand ball.
But irritating her husband comes naturally, and she needs a challenge. When her country cousin Lady Roberta St. Giles asks for help seducing the Duke of Villiers into marriage, Jemma jumps at the chance. She transforms Roberta into the most delicious and desirable woman in town. Then she lures Villiers to the house, ostensibly to play chess.
But the plan backfires. Villiers responds enthusiastically to Jemma's challenge and, ignoring Roberta or indeed Jemma's husband, offers her a match - three games, the last of which is to be played blindfolded. And nude.
And in bed.