Lord Philippe Lavay once took to the high seas armed with charm as lethal as his sword, and a stone-cold conviction: he'll restore his family's fortune and honor, no matter the cost. Victory is at last within reach-when a brutal attack snatches it from his grasp and lands him in Pennyroyal Green. An afternoon of bliss brings a cascade of consequences for Elise Fountain. She is shunned by her family and ousted from a job she loves, and her survival means a plummet down the social ladder to a position no woman has yet been able to keep: housekeeper to a frighteningly formidable prince. The bold and gentle Elise sees past his battered body into Philippe's barricaded heart ...and her innate sensuality ignites his blood. Now a man who thought he could never love and a woman who thought she would never again trust must fight an incendiary passion that could be the ruin of them both.