"If a maid wants nothing but a husband, how can a brother give her everything?"
The illegitimate sister of the Earl of Trenton, former maid Lily Harkins has spent the past two Seasons attending balls and soirées and learning everything she needs to know to be a proper lady of the ton. She's also garnered a group of suitors—four, in fact—and every one of them has indicated their intention to make her their wife. Trouble is, she can't decide if they're truly fond of her or of her dowry.
William Overby has spent almost his entire life working at Wellingham Imports. Despite his poverty-stricken past in the Seven Dials, his position as a clerk has afforded him all the trappings of the middle class and what he thinks is a satisfying life. That is, until the day he meets Lady Lily. The beautiful blonde, a cousin of his employer, reminds him of a maid he once met at Vauxhall Gardens. A maid he saved from certain ruination. A maid he's been unable to forget since that fateful night. Could Lady Lily be the same girl?
Having read the stories in the gossip sheets suggesting his sister is being courted by no fewer than four aristocrats, Gabriel invites Lily to spend the summer in Staffordshire. He's determined to hear her side of the stories before deciding which man is good enough to be her husband. He wants her to have a life of privilege, after all.
Lily decides a few tall tales told over evening meals should help cast the men in a not-so-flattering light. But what of the young man she met at Wellingham Imports? The clerk who reminds her so much of the honorable man from her past? Can she convince the earl that William is the man for her? A struggle with class and the expectations of her brother may override The Desire of a Lady.