Catherine Dunnan is beside herself when her beloved new husband Harry goes off to war. With only letters as a means of communication, Catherine dedicates herself to every single word that Harry writes to her. Despite the fact that they have only been married a short time, Catherine falls deeper and deeper in love with Harry as she reads his stylish prose. Unbeknownst to Catherine, her husband Harry has no use for her or her devoted letters. Harry is a liar and an adulterer, one who married Catherine solely because she was an heiress. In actuality, Harry's fellow soldier, Colonel Moncrief is the writer of the letters to Catherine. Having seen up close and personal Harry's cruelty, Moncrief takes pity on Harry's wife and pens letters to her that are soulful and inspirational. When Harry is suddenly killed, Catherine plunges into sorrowful despair as soon as word reaches her. It is six months after Harry's death when Moncrief decides to pay a visit to Catherine at her home, Colstin Hall, as he makes his way home to his own estate in Scotland. Harry cannot get the idea of Catherine out of his head. When Harry sees Catherine for the first time he is shocked at her disheveled appearance. Despite the fact that there are servants at Colstin Hall, it is clear to Moncrief that no one is looking after the distraught widow. When Catherine overdoses on laudanum and is caught in a compromising position with Moncrief, it is Moncrief's decision to marry Catherine and spare her the indignity of a tarnished reputation. When Catherine comes to, she is shocked to find herself married to a stranger, one who has just recently been named Duke of Lymond. Due to his brother's death, Moncrief has been named as the heir apparent, Duke of Lymond, and is on his way to assume the title and residency of the family estate, Balidonough. When Moncrief and Catherine make their way as a married couple to Balidonough Catherine is shocked at the opulence of the estate and her new role as duchess. Although Catherine is still sporting black in remembrance of Harry and romanticizing her dead husband, Moncrief is chomping at the bit to tell her Harry's true horrid nature. Moncrief has fallen in love with Catherine but he refuses to spend the rest of his life watching his beloved hero worship another man. Despite Moncrief's desire for Catherine, she refuses to share her body with him out of deference to her deceased husband. When Catherine goads Moncrief he finally tells her all the horrid details about her beloved Harry's character. Catherine is shocked to discover that Harry did not die in battle and that he was shot while having a liason with a married woman. As Catherine grapples with the news, she finds herself inexplicably drawn towards her husband. As Catherine and Moncrief find common ground and begin developing a solid relationship, Moncrief worries that he will lose Catherine if she discovers that he, and not Harry, wrote her the love letters during the war.
This report prepared by Sandra Calhoune