All her life Ariel Ravenspeare has been taught to despise the Earl of Hawkesmoor (Simon). According to family lore, the Ravenspeares and the Hawkesmoors have hated each other for generations. Ariel's family believes that Simon's father dishonored their mother years ago. Further, the two families have fought over neighboring land that is heavily disputed. Due to the dispute the Queen has intervened in the matter and determined that Simon will marry Ariel and provide the disputed land as dowry, thereby joining the two families and quelling any disharmony. Ariel is shocked by the news of the impending marriage and even further dismayed when she realizes that her brothers are up to no good. Ariel's three dastardly brothers (Ranulf, Ralph and Roland) inform her that after her wedding to Simon he will meet with an "unfortunate accident", thereby leaving Ariel as heir to his estate and fortune. Although Ariel balks at the evil plan, she is forced to go ahead and marry Simon since it is at the Queen's behest. Once married to the handsome Earl of Hawkesmoor, who is a virtual stranger, Ariel realizes that the enemy she has always hated is a charming and charismatic man.
This report prepared by Sandra Calhoune