Annabelle Carruthers can only dream of being kissed by a man as dashing as Lord Darkwood. She remains locked in misery - married to a rakish drunk who gambles their lives into financial and social ruin. His sudden death - and rumours of spies and treachery - only make matters worse. Burdened with her dead husband's gambling debts, Annabelle fears that she is on her way to the poorhouse. The only solution Annabelle can see to avoid this is to offer herself up as mistress to the mysterious Lord Darkwood! Darkwood, however, is too much of a gentleman to take advantage of a lady such as Annabelle. Still, he is intrigued by the persistent rumours of her husband's espionage - a curiosity that will soon place them both in grave danger.