"Hampshire, 1850. Beth Langton has been running her large family estate for nine months now, after the death of her father and under the watchful eyes of her godfather and guardian, Lord Edward Sharland. When the father of her best friend, Lady Helen Denton, shoots himself after running up gambling debts, Beth persuades Helen to come and live with her. But further tragedy await when Beth's beloved guardian dies. A stranger claims to be Edward's heir, making him her legal guardian - and he has the paperwork to prove it. But can they trust him? And should they?" -- from publisher's web site.