A strange night-time encounter at an inn leaves ladies' companion Genova Smith with a less-than-sterling opinion of the Marquess of Ashart. Not that that does anything to prevent the passion that blazes up like wildfire between them, and when they are caught in an extremely compromising situation Ash proposes a false engagement to protect her reputation. Genova find herself in a situation more perilous even than fighting off pirates: pretending to be in love with a man who could just be the one to capture her heart.
An unwanted betrothal isn't going to prevent Ash from fulfilling his destiny. He intends to confront his cousin and discover the truth about his late aunt's death. Ashart cannot allow himself to be deterred by the warmth of a Malloren Christmas, or the passion which flares between him and his fake fiancee. Especially not when he suspects that the mysterious Miss Smith might have been thrown in his path by his cousin, and mortal enemy, the enigmatic Lord Rothgar. Even if Genova is an innocent caught in a family feud, what future could there be for a sea captain's daughter and a member of the aristocracy?
But it's Christmas, and for a Malloren are not all things possible?