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Perhaps the term 'profligate' is too kind for Robert, Marquis of Denley. He has gambled away his fortune, publicly dueled, and earned a reputation as a cur. Desperate to staunch the family's financial hemorrhage, Robert's uncle forces Robert to rusticate in Yorkshire for the purpose of marrying him to the squire's daughter. This uninteresting alliance would permanently remove his reckless nephew from Society.
But Mary Fanley, a country miss who thinks the pretensions of the bon ton are absurd, has no idea Sir Robert is being coerced into marrying a 'veritable nobody'. From their first encounter she infuriates him with her dismissive wit. So begins a war of horrific insults and unvarnished contempt.
Yet just as Mary begins to seem quite palatable, a smooth dandy arrives to settle an old score, forcing the Marquis to pay for his past.