Kate Matcham needs a fortune or a husband. She wants neither. With a tainted inheritance in the balance, she receives one offer to become a scoundrel's mistress and another offer of a marriage of convenience. Before resigning herself to a choice, she accepts the invitation to visit a childhood friend, considering it a last hurrah before embarking on a bleak future. The visit goes sideways when she falls for the gentleman her friend intends to marry, a man well out of Kate's league - and one who seems to be hiding something. Smuggling has overtaken the county, and it seems that everyone is complicit in the trade that killed her father. One by one, her options dwindle as she struggles against her strengthening feelings for a duplicitous man, a determination not to hurt her friend, and keeping the promise she made long ago: To stand up to the people who killed her father.