Deborah Jannvier's life is miserable, living with her widowed penniless mother on the grudging, cruel patronage of Uncle Walter. Then on a dark night, fate brings a stranger to the door. He is Matthew Pascoe with a message from her Great Uncle Ralph. The old man is on his deathbed and desperate to have a member of his family inherit his estate of Marymoor. His other more distant relative, Elkin, is an out-and-out nasty. Deborah goes off into doubt and darkness, to discover that she will inherit only if she marries Matthew. She takes her chance and from this follows a tale of dark villainy from both the disinherited Elkin and Uncle Walter.
A well written, entertaining tale, but not really a romance. The romance between the enforcably married couple is charming and tender, but pushed very much to the sidelines by the machinations of the nasty Elkin, the equally nasty Walter and their various, vicious henchmen. I'd rather have had more of Matthew and Deborah. Poor Deborah is especially overshadowed by her terrors, that rather detract from her established strength of character.
More a melodrama really.