War hero Alistair Carsington really really loves women, and his romantic impulses have landed him in nearly as much danger as the Battle of Waterloo. To avoid his usual temptations and perhaps even repay the friend who saved his life, he's exiled himself to a place far from civilization - Derbyshire - in winter! Fate laughs at his good intentions and drives him straight into conflict with Miss Mirabel Oldridge, his match in tenacity, intelligence, and deviousness - who also happens to be wildly irresistible.
Mirabel Oldridge is already overwhelmed by her responsibilities, caring for her brilliant but eccentric father and the family lands, constantly on the verge of trouble. She does not need a devastatingly handsome, too smart, and empathetic aristocrat reminding her that she has a heart and a delectable body, so unfashionably clothed that he claims undressing her is a moral obligation. Now neither of them can resist temptation - how can something so wrong feel so very wonderful?