Neville Wyatt, Earl of Kilbourne, awaits his new bride at the altar - when a ragged beggar woman races down the aisle instead. The cream of the ton see him stare, shocked, then declare that this is his late wife! One night of passion is all he remembers of Lily, the woman he'd wed, loved, and lost on the battlefield in Portugal. Now he must endeavour to honour his commitment to her - regardless of the gulf that lies between them.
Lily wants only to start a new life - with a husband who truly loves her. She leaves Wyatt to learn how to meet his world on her terms and upon her return Lily soon becomes the toast of the ton, every inch a countess fit for the earl. Wyatt vows to prove to his remarkable wife that what he feels for her is more than desire, that what he wants from her is much more than simply one night for love . . .