Mannerling, the splendid family estate gambled away by Sir Beverley, remains the passion of his daughters. Beverley himself has died; the eldest daughter, Isabella – having failed in her bid to reclaim the family home – is blissfully wed. The mantle of saviour now falls to the next eldest daughter, Jessica. How fortunate then that the new owner of Mannerling had a marriageable son. In truth, Harry is a brutal letch, and a wastrel, but Jessica, blinded by determination, vows to secure a betrothal. She is barely aware of the attentions of handsome, charming Professor Robert Sommerville, whose affection for Jessica is equalled only by the fear that her obsession to secure Mannerling will lead to disaster for all concerned.