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Lady Ophelia’s voice is so lovely, so incomparable, she’s permitted to break convention and appear on the London stage. The young ingenue has more admirers than she realizes, but after long years cloistered at a Viennese music school, she has no idea how society’s games of courtship and seduction are played. The Marquess of Wescott is prone to bucking convention too—not always in a good way. He and his friends are frequent subjects of gossip for their rakish behavior, like their regular forays to Pearl’s Emporium, where lovers of discipline explore risqué fantasies in secret rooms.
Wescott and Ophelia’s fates collide on a dry autumn night, when a fast-moving fire strands them together on the outskirts of London. As the sun rises, they learn convention can only be stretched so far. They’re obliged to wed in a quick, quiet ceremony, and embark upon married life as little more than strangers. From the start, their dueling personalities tangle into knots of frustration and regret.
But marriage is marriage, and they must learn to live with one another. Lord Wescott tries to bring his wife into line using the disciplinary tactics he’s honed over the years, but Ophelia’s not so easily tamed. She’s a stubborn soul, determined to resist her husband at every turn. Life is not an opera, and love is not easy.
For Wescott and Ophelia, the battle has only begun…