Reginald Mason, the son of a wealthy coal merchant, has finally pushed his father too far with his extravagant spending and gambling debts. Lady Annabelle Ashton has scandalized her deeply indebted father with an attempted elopement with the coachman, ruining her chances for an advantageous marriage. These two neighbors have never been allowed to socialize or even meet, but now their fathers decide that they must get married. The insults start flying from their first meeting, but they recognize their mutual lack of choice in making this forced marriage work. This little froth of a novel is Balogh at her best.