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Lady Catherine Greystow
For her entire life, Catherine Greystow has lived as a servant in her Aunt and Uncle's home. With her mother having died and her father having abandoned her, she has been left at their mercy for the last sixteen years. Then, on her twentieth birthday, a dark and dangerous stranger shows up at her door. It is none other than the rakish Jonathan Thornley, an English Viscount who announces that he was sent by her father, The Duke of Lancaster, to collect her. With no choice but to trust him, Catherine agrees to leave her Aunt's home, to accept her place as one of the wealthiest heiresses in England.
But Catherine's joyful reunion with her father is short-lived. The Duke is soon murdered and it becomes clear that the person who killed him now wants Catherine dead. Catherine must be careful who she trusts-so much so that when Count Thornley insists it was her father's deathbed wish that she and Thornley marry immediately, Catherine must decide whether the Count lusts for her or her fortune.
Count Jonathan Thornley
For as long as he can remember, Jonathan Thornley has resented the daughter of Duke Greystow-the cousin who raised him. He thinks Catherine a silly girl, content with receiving his cousin's fortune but refusing to see the man himself. When asked by his dying cousin to retrieve the girl, he crosses the Atlantic to collect the selfish, spoiled brat. But when he arrives in the States he is surprised to find not a bratty child but an unspoiled woman, as unaware of her fortune as she is of her beauty.
He resists his attraction to her and brings her home, only to recognize that his cousin's illness is no accident. With the knowledge that someone wanted the Duke dead comes the realization that they now want Catherine dead as well. To remove her from their reach, Jonathan must marry her. But to do so, he must make her believe that he loves her and not her fortune-before it is too late.