Lord Beaufort McCandless, the Marquess of Kingsford, has lived much of his life kept away from proper Society. Born with mismatched eyes, Beau’s parents thought him the product of a gypsy curse and when he developed a stutter in his youth, they were certain of it. Hidden away at his family’s ancestral home along the Suffolk coast, Beau has grown up nearly alone and convinced that he truly is the monster his family has long believed him to be. Now, however, his parents are gone, taken by a fever, and Beau must somehow find the courage to return to the world outside of his castle walls.
Beautiful but penniless, Lady Dinah Crestfield is on her way to become governess to the unruly children of a duke in the wilds of Norfolk. The daughter of a baron, she was once pampered and celebrated for miles around until her father died in debtor’s prison over unpaid gambling debts. She had once imagined a very different life for herself, one lived in the glittering lights of London. Now? She will take whatever respectable job that is offered to her, no matter how far away it is from the place she most longs to be.
When her carriage overturns near the entrance to the notoriously reclusive Marquess of Kingsford’s home, Dinah is forced to either seek shelter with the so-called “cursed marquess” or freeze to death. Can she swallow her fear long enough to spend a few nights beneath the man’s roof? And if she does, is she brave enough to see past what others term his “unnatural” appearance to the man that lies beneath?