A penniless rake with a penchant for gambling, Rutherford Hawksley has friends in places both high and low - essential to his search for his brother's murder. Ruthless in his quest, Rutherford discovers a nobleman who he suspects is trying to kill a woman travelling to London. A woman with information Hawksley would very much like to know. But his simple plan of abduction goes awry when he plucks the not-so-simple Miss Clara Dawson from her coach. Hawksley is used to his startling blue eyes charming ladies into submission, yet Clara's spirit and intelligence prove quite the match for him. And soon he can think of nothing more pleasurable than keeping this rare bird in his not-so-gilded cage, where he can pick her intriguing mind, enjoy her exquisite body-and teach her more about desire than she ever dreamed possible.