In a moment of recklessness Gervase Tregarth, sixth Earl of Crowhurst, swears he'll marry the next eligible lady to cross his path. However, after years engaged in secret service to the Crown, he knows the importance of an escape route - the lady must be compatible in every way, or there will be no wedding. Cloistered at his ancestral castle in Cornwall, with no suitable woman for miles, Gervase never expects he'll have to fulfil his pledge. That is, until he meets his neighbour, the deliciously appealing Madeline Gascoigne. Despite his reservations, Gervase finds himself irrepressibly drawn to Madeline, luring her into his arms and, ultimately his bed. From their very first kiss, he discovers that the headstrong and independent Madeline is no meek country miss, they are definitely compatible - and that the fire between them will burn well beyond that first seduction...