Luke's father, an inveterate gambler, lost the Castle fifty years earlier to Damaris's grandfather, an innkeeper. As it is the first estate his family obtained Luke wants to regain it.
Damaris, unwillingly obeying her grandfather's wishes, comes to London for the Season with her friend Mary, Lady Gordon, and her two young children. She will be twenty-one in July, and is looking forward to controlling her inheritance, which has been in the charge of a distant cousin, Humphrey Lee. Damaris is convinced he wants to marry her. She doesn't want any husband, who would deprive her of such control.
Her first encounter with Luke is disastrous, but she soon finds a way out of the dilemma.