Lorelei Hilton is on the cusp of an arranged marriage to a spineless boy chosen by her father for the purpose of maintaining the family business. After years of being manipulated and talked down to, Lorelei has had enough. Determined to remove herself and her sister from the constant supervision of her parents, she set out to find a man with the gumption to stand up to her father.
Aubrey Montgomery has three problems: the care of his adolescent sisters, the managing of his household, and his own loneliness. Over two years have passed since his first proposal was rejected by Cassie Hilton. Although he no longer trusts himself to love a woman properly, he could settle for an amicable, emotionless partnership—if the right woman came along.
After a chance meeting with her sister-in-law’s former suitor, Lorelei discovers she has an ally in Aubrey Montgomery. A marriage of convenience to Aubrey would solve both their problems—provided neither of them becomes emotionally attached.
Lady Effie Adley’s situation went from bad to worse when her unloving father died, leaving all he owned to her disagreeable cousin. With her fledging career as an author flailing, she must marry well to save herself and her younger sister from a life of poverty, and she’s settled on the Duke of Ridgewell, Philip Harriot. Though he’s a shameless rogue, she’s willing to do anything to keep her sister safe.
Shy, socially awkward Lord William Harriot is not the duke. He’d much rather be managing his printing company and falling in love with fictional characters than running his twin brother’s estate. However, Philip has managed to lose the family fortune, and to save face while Philip travels to save their estate, William must pretend to be the duke.
William and Effie begin to fall for each other, though William knows that before long he must tell Effie the truth about who he is. However, Effie is also keeping a secret—she’s the author of William’s favorite book, writing under a male pseudonym!