To afford the food and medicine her ailing mother needs, the beautiful Honourable Olinda Selwyn, daughter of the late Lord Selwyn, former Lord Chief Justice of England, is obliged to conceal her background to take employment with the Dowager Countess of Kelvedon as an expert embroiderer at the family stately home in Derbyshire. Taken aback to find that the ageing but still beautiful Countess is having a love affair with a dissolute young rake, Olinda sympathises with her estranged son, the Earl, who despises his mother for her loose morals. Drawn reluctantly into the Kelvedon family’s tangle of bitterness and resentment, Olinda finds herself gently advising the Earl – or as he puts it, inspiring him. But just as the love she has only ever dreamt of seems almost within her grasp, Kelvedon is rocked by a sudden and suspicious death – and, incredibly, the man she loves with all her heart stands accused.
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