Jean has grown up under the mean and miserly care of her uncle and so when she attends her first season as an heiress she is not prepared for the rigid rules of London, or to fall in love with the dashing Marquess of Fleetwater. Jeans parents were killed when she was quite young, and she enters the care of a nasty uncle, assuming she has no money as her parents frittered it all away. She is from a good family, so attends lessons with the daughters of a local duke in preparation for being ‘brought out' under the care of her wealthy godmother.
The handsome and wealthy Marquess of Fleetwater is considered a great catch, sought after by many girls seeking a husband during the season. He is very attracted to Jean, but she seems incapable of behaving correctly, and the Marquess is very proper. The Marquess learns from a lawyer friend that Jean will inherit a great deal of money on her 18th birthday, but must not be told of this until then. The lawyer is concerned for Jeans safety as her uncle will inherit if she dies before her 18th, so the Marquess determines to keep a close eye on her.
After a few attempts on Jeans life – her uncle is indeed trying to kill her off – the Marquess tries to keep her safe by organizing a house party in the countryside for his friends and Jean, only for the evil uncle to follow them. Throughout all of this the Marquess is trying to fight his feelings for Jean, considering her behavior inappropriate for a wife, and Jean is becoming convinced he is going to marry a very appropriate and pretty society darling.
Jean's uncle lures her out of the house with a fake note, but the Marquess follows her and the uncle is killed in the resulting fight. Jean is thoroughly upset by the whole thing, and later at a society event she has an outburst that leads to the whole of society snubbing her, including the Marquess.
Jean flees to her newly inherited house and lands in Scotland, and settles down in the far less rigid society that exists there, although still in love with the Marquess.
The Marquess is finding the London season boring, and avoiding proposing to the suitable society lady. It takes a stern talking to from a friend for him to realize that without Jean he is bored and lonely, and he eventually travels north to find her.
Jean is paddling in the sea when the Marquess arrives, and he wades out to meet her, for once not worrying about being proper and correct. She falls into his arms and they kiss, before returning to Jeans estate to plan for the future together.
Best part of story, including ending:
I like Jean's character, she doesn't conform to the rigid society rules
Best scene in story:
I enjoyed the scene with the river picnic, Jean and Freddie were fun and relaxed together
Opinion about the main character:
I liked Jean's character, but I found the marquess a little stuffy and mean, though he changed in the end.