Archibald Mactavish is the owner of a large Scottish Highland estate. He raises sheep and ships the wool all over Europe. He has out lived all 4 of his sons and is raising his only grandchild, Duncan, who lost his parents when only 8 years of age.
Neville Thackery, is an English earl, with wealth and vast estates who allowed his only child to marry Archie's son with the agreement that their first son, who happened to be Duncan, would assume the earldom and all its responsibilities when he came of age. Duncan was Thackery's only grandchild.
Over the years Archie and Neville corresponded about Duncan, but do to poor health Neville was unable to meet Duncan until it was time for him to move to England.
Duncan moved to England against his wishes and agrees to meet and possibly marry a beautiful young woman Neville has selected for him. He is against arranged marriages and tells Neville so, but agrees to meet the young woman. She turns out to be possibly the most beautiful woman in England with the ugliest personality. She is self centered, vain, catty, spiteful. The list goes on. Duncan states that she will not do.
The grandfathers throw a houseparty, inviting all the eligible young women of the season. While out riding, his first day in England Duncan meets Sabrina Lambert, who wasn't invited to the houseparty, and is attracted to her wit, sense of humor and violet eyes. He sees her at first as a friend, but Sabrina is immediately taken with him. She has decided not to marry due to a scandal that occurred a few generations earlier in her family that has labeled her as having 'bad blood'. Duncan's almost fiance is jealous of Sabrina's being invited personally by Duncan and the attention that Sabrina is getting from Duncan and the most sort after and eligible bachelor in England, Raphael Locke.
Ophelia, Duncan's now ex-fiance, sets out to embarrass Sabrina and angers her to the point that Sabrina leaves the house party. Duncan sees that Sabrina has left and follows her. He cannot get her to tell him what is wrong and returns to the mansion and confronts Ophelia and in the process accidently compromises her and then has no choice but to marry her. By this time Ophelia wants nothing to do with Duncan but neither of them can think of a way to get out of the marriage as an enemy of Ophelia, she has many, has seen them together and is now missing. Until this young woman is found and gives her assurances that she will not spread any rumors the marriage must take place.
The search is on for the young woman. Fortunately Raphael has an idea where to look. In the meantime Sabrina has received a letter from kidnappers to go to Manchester with ransom money. She goes to Manchester and finds the missing young woman. In the process she is kidnapped by the same ruffians. Duncan and Raphael arrive and rescue them. Now they have to go back to the Thackeray estate and convince Ophelia's enemy not to talk. Only then can the wedding be called off and Duncan and Sabrina possibly find happiness. During the story we learn of what causes the bad blood rumors about Sabrina's family and more of why Duncan's English grandfather could not go to the Highlands to see him while he was growing up and how Duncan will manage 2 very large estates.
This report prepared by plnorth