On the point of starvation after the death of her father, an inveterate gambler who has gamed away all the family fortune, young and beautiful Valessa Chester is literally starving and on the verge of suicide by throwing herself in the river.
But then it seems that Fate has intervened when three friends of the rich and powerful Lady Sarah Barton appear at her door seeking help after her Ladyship has been injured in a fall out hunting.
In gratitude for Valessa’s ministrations, Lady Barton offers Valessa the huge sum of two hundred pounds to help her with a secret charade that she is planning for her house party at her nearby mansion.
Little does Valessa know, as she shyly agrees because she is in desperate need of the money, that the charade is Lady Sarah’s wicked plot for revenge on the haughty and handsome Marquis of Wyndonbury, who has snubbed her marriage proposal after he has been having a torrid affaire de coeur with her.
The cynical charade duly takes place and Valessa finds that she has been unwittingly married legally and properly to the Marquis.
And in his understandable rage she finds him terrifying yet magnificent.
But, as they voyage to the South of France on his luxury yacht to escape the fallout from his marriage, he is transformed in Valessa’s eyes from the ogre she so feared to her tender and considerate ‘Man in the Moon’ – with whom she is falling irreversibly in love.