Melanie’s life has been full of heartache ever since her mother’s death, and it only gets worse once her father remarries. Geraldine is the epitome of an evil stepmother. Though Melanie detests the woman, she loves her two siblings and becomes a surrogate mother that Jesse and Jessica adore.

Geraldine’s next plan, however, is one that even Melanie could never predict. On the day on which two strangers appear to take custody of their newest possession, Melanie learns the depth of her her stepmother’s hatred as she is sold to slave traders. Standing on an auction block in a strange country, Melanie finds herself sold to the highest bidder, who is quite anxious to claim his prize. Managing to escape, Melanie’s choice of a hiding place changes her life.

Christopher Ashworth and his best friend, Nicolas, have spent several enjoyable nights at the White Palace. Neither has any reason not to sample the wide variety of delights offered by the whores, who are all eager to please. Upon hearing that there is to be a slave auction, however, they are disgusted, and Christopher climbs into his carriage, ready to return home and resume his duties as Earl. He never expected to discover a stowaway.

Melanie awakens naked and in bed beside a total stranger. This was not the man who had purchased her. The two have an instant connection, and yet trust is not something that is given easily. Love is something Christopher has an even harder time accepting. The lessons he learned from his grandparents, Earl Thomas Ashworth and his feisty wife, Nancy, have taught him how to be an Earl but that no longer seems to be enough.

Can Melanie show him that he is worthy to receive the gift of her love? Will Christopher’s promise of helping her find her siblings and bring them to her come true? Or will the stress of keeping secrets tear them apart? What happens when Christopher’s demons convince him that Melanie is using him? Will his temper drive her so far away that there is no path back?



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