Pretty Antoinette Dupont is the ward of Lord Rudyard Appleby, a devious and disgusting man, who has had his eye on Antoinette for years. Now he wants to make her his mistress, but when rumors begin to fly and a scandal threatens his standing with Queen Victoria, Appleby hastily decides to rid himself of Antoinette, but only temporarily, and sends his trusted secretary Gabriel Potter with her to his house in Cornwall. Gabriel believes Antoinette to be a greedy, petulant girl and that she's already Appleby's mistress, but he needs her to go to the estate.The eldest son of Sir Adam Langley, the Cornish property is actually Gabriel's inheritance but due to some nefarious business dealings, Appleby got his hands on it and Gabriel wants it back. But on their way to the estate, they are held up by a highwayman. Gabriel sends him off without much trouble, but Antoinette faints and as she's coming around Gabriel kisses her and she thinks it's the highwayman. Antoinette finds herself dreaming of the mysterious man, and welcomes him when he appears to her in the night, masked and disguised.
Of course it's Gabriel playing a joke on the mistress of his enemy, but he soon realizes his growing feelings for her are nothing to trifle with.