Margaret Stanton-Lynch finds herself at a loss. With both parents dead, her brother married, and her elderly grandfather away, she is left to live with her cousin in the country. Through this cousin, she meets Justin St. James, the Earl of Rathmore, an accused murderer.
Justin is, of course, innocent. He has been in exile for six years, having been sent away by his family who did not believe in his innocence. Now, with his uncle and cousin dead, he has returned to England to claim his title and care for his cousin's daughter Emily. Emily, in her grief, has become out of control. Though she adored her cousin Justin six years ago, she thought he had abandoned her and she rebels against him. Justin, although he does not know what to do with his ward, does know that he must prove his innocence so that she may be accepted by society.
Meg and Justin suffer attraction at first sight. Conveniently, Meg is familiar with Emily's grief and is able to get through to the girl. Although everyone sees that she and Justin are perfect for each other, she insists on finding herself first: she tries botany, singing, and finally falls in love with painting. At a house party staged to root out the true killer, she finally consents to Justin's proposal of marriage and they discover the identity of the murderer.
This report prepared by A Reader