Wealthy Emmett Condon is not a "good" man. Nor is he a gentleman. He professes to be both only to advance his numerous business deals, some legal, some shady, just like him. Certainly no one would ever mistake him for a hero...
Save for his infatuated ward of the last three years, Priscilla, the virginal young lady he has promised his mentor to wed.
Unfortunately, how his ward sees him is a carefully orchestrated illusion, an invention of his own making. That man doesn't exist.
So, taking pity on Priscilla, Emmett reveals his true self to her prior to their marriage.
And his ward flees. Escapes in stark horror.
Priscilla does indeed run from Emmett, the man she has always loved. Not in horror over what he did to her that night of her eighteenth birthday, a corruption of her innocence she cannot forget. She runs because she craves his debasement. She craves it even after discovering his commitment to her is a sham. Forsaking her attraction to his dominance, a dominance beyond boundaries, a domanance beyond limits, a dominance which surpasses her every moral belief -- she stays away from him...
Until his terrible power over her draws her back into his waiting arms.
Knowing he will never love her, that her guardian has bound her to him with emotional and physical coercion, that he has abused her trust, she settles for less than his love -- his lust.
Then she demands more. She demands all of him, including his darkness. And she fights for him the only way she knows how... by allowing him everything, even giving him permission to share her with another man.
Emmett will bring her to the very edge of decency and then fling her over the precipice, for he is a man willing to go to any lengths to protect Priscilla... including not telling her she holds his heart and what remains of his soul.