Hyacinth Bridgerton, youngest child of the huge Bridgerton family, is at 22 years old, on the verge of becoming an old maid. Despite the fact that Hyacinth has had a handful of proposals, she has never been tempted to marry any of her suitors. Enter Gareth St. Clair, the handsome grandson of Lady Danbury, Hyacinth's good friend and society grand dame. Although Hyacinth reads to the elderly Lady Danbury each Tuesday, she has had only brief contact with her grandson. That all changes when Gareth arrives at his grandmother's house on a Tuesday and requests that she translates his paternal grandmother's diary, which is written in Italian. Although Lady Danbury is unable to translate Italian, Hyacinth has studied the language and offers her services to Gareth. Gareth accepts Hyacinth's offer and hands over his grandmother's diary. After Hyacinth reads the first few entries she relays to Gareth some startling news: his grandmother, Isabella, hid rare precious jewels somewhere at his family home. Gareth is anxious to find the jewels and claim them as his own. Unbeknownst to Hyacinth, Gareth is hiding a secrety. Although Hyacinth, and all of London, is aware that Gareth and his father, the Earl St. Clair, have a famously terrible relationship, she has no idea of the origins of their feud. Years ago, at the age of 18, the Earl angrily told Gareth that he was not his blood son and that he was the result of his mother's adulterous affair with an unknown man. The Earl then cruelly kicked Gareth out of the family home and refused to pay for his studies at Oxford. It was then that Gareth moved in with his maternal grandmother, Lady Danbury, who paid his way through college and supported him. Gareth wants to get to the jewels before his father finds them. As Hyacinth and Gareth start working on the diary together they find themselves drawn together romantically. Gareth has never been in love before and he is shocked to find himself developing feelings for the obstinate and willful Hyacinth. Hyacinth, on the other hand, can't believe that she is falling for such a notorious rake. Suddenly, all of London is speculating about the romantic future of Hyacinth and Gareth. When Gareth's father catches wind of his relationship with Hyacinth he baits his son by telling him that he isn't good enough for Hyacinth and threatening to reveal his paternity secret, Gareth reacts by asking Hyacinth to marry him. Although Hyacinth happily accepts she is unsure as to what prompted Gareth to propose. Although she loves Gareth she isn't sure her love is reciprocated. When Hyacinth overhears a heated argument between Gareth and his father in which the Earl St. Clair accuses Gareth of proposing to Hyacinth just to spite him, Hyacinth is devastated by the cold hard truth of the Earl's words. Hyacinth runs from Gareth in a fury. Just as Gareth realizes that he truly does love Hyacinth he is faced with losing her.
This report prepared by Sandra Calhoune