Although she’s only twenty-one years old, Lady Catherine Sawyer takes her responsibilities as the eldest of five sisters very seriously; both parents are gone, the family estate is entailed to a male heir, and her sisters refuse to let her marry their odious Cousin Wilbur.
Kate decides to become a governess and she and her sisters are delighted when she is hired by the Duke of Chelmsford, who agrees to let the Sawyer sisters live on the estate. But the Duke has his own motives for his decision. When he tries to force himself upon her younger sister, Kate threatens to kill him. Two days later, the Duke is dead and his grandmother wants a quick trial and hanging, with Catherine on the end of the rope.
But the new Duke, Marcus Creighton, the black sheep of the family, is unconvinced that the lovely, gentle governess is a murderess and he’s determined to solve the murder and save Catherine from the gallows. As he delves deeper into past family secrets, his efforts to save the woman he has fallen in love with puts his own life in danger.