Alexander Stewart, Viscount Merrick, is forced to take shelter in a country house because of a snowstorm. The woman who opens the door is overweight and plainly dressed, so Alexander assumes she is a servant. When she walks him to his bedchamber, he tries to take her to bed. She pushes him away, and he lets her go. The next morning, he discovers that the woman he almost seduced the night before, is no servant, but Anne Parrish, the granddaughter of a baron. Honour forces him to offer his hand in marriage, although he had plans to propose to another woman. Anne agrees to marry Alexander. He takes Anne to Redlands, his country estate, consummates the marriage, then leaves her alone, intending never to come back.
Anne is devastated by Alexander's lack of feeling for her and his abandonment. Left alone in his big estate, she decides to take charge of the mansion, the garden, and herself. She transforms everything for the better including her own appearance. Months later, Anne attends a Stewart family gathering at Alexander's grandmother home. Alexander arrives and is immediately attracted to a beautiful young woman. It takes him a while to realize the woman is his wife.
Anne and Alexander discover a physical attraction for each other, but Anne is still hurting from Alexander's treatment of her. The two must get beyond their initial feelings about their marriage before they can love each other.
This report prepared by L. Watson