Soldier of fortune Graeham Fox has been sent to London by his overlord, Baron Gui de Beauvais, to remove Lord Gui's daughter, Ada le Fever, from the hands of her abusive husband. As payment Lord Gui has promised Graeham the hand of his other daughter along with a sizable estate, much more than an illegitimate, landless soldier could ever hope for. Before Graeham can complete his mission, he's attacked by thugs and forced to recuperate in the home of Johanna Chapman, a silk merchant's widow.
Joanna's first reaction is to throw Graeham out. She has no intention of letting another man use her the way her husband did. But Graeham's injuries appear to make him harmless and she needs the rent money he will pay her. She finds him attractive, and allows him to believe that her husband is still alive, thinking that will give her protection from his charms. Graeham has secrets of his own. He can't reveal his mission to anyone, because Lord Gui has sworn him to secrecy. One reason he is eager to rent Johanna's storeroom is because the back window overlooks the le Fever house, which gives him the perfect opportunity to watch and listen. Ada le Fever is mysteriously ill, and Graeham suspects some kind of foul play.
Both Graeham and Johanna try to deny their attraction to each other. Johanna doesn't trust men, and although Graeham finds himself fascinated by Johanna, he keeps a tight rein on his desire, even after he finds out that she is actually a widow. As the mystery surrounding Ada le Fever's illness starts to unravel, Graeham and Johanna find themselves becoming love buddies, but Graeham is torn between his ambition and his desire. He knows he has nothing to offer Johanna, and if he breaks off his forthcoming betrothal to Lord Gui's daughter, he will lose his one chance to have an estate and the wealth that has been promised to him.
This report prepared by Susan Hughes