The Earl of St. Merryn needs a woman. His intentions are purely practical - he simply wants someone sensible and suitably lovely to pose as his betrothed for a few weeks among polite society. He had his own agenda to pursue, and a false fiance will keep the husband-hunters at bay while he goes about his business. The simplest solution is to hire a paid companion. After all, the sorry woman who must accept such employment are sure to be grateful for any favor.
When he encounters Miss Elenora Lodge, he believes his problem is solved. Her dowdy attire and pinned-up hair cannot hide her fine figure and the fire in her golden eyes. And her unfortunate circumstances, and secret dreams of a life on stage, make the Earl's offer undeniably appealing.
But St. Merryn is clearly hiding something, and things seem oddly amiss in his gloomy Rain Street home. Elenora is soon to discover that his secrets are even darker than his decor, and this lark will be a more dangerous adventure than she'd been led to believe. And Arthur, Earl of St. Merryn, will find that the meek and mild companion he'd envisioned has become both a partner in his quest to catch a killer, and an outspoken belle of the ball who stirs a bothersome passion in his practical heart.