A little Regency about the ties that blind and other unspeakable acts.
Spring 1805: Earl Blystone is dead; his estate, sold to pay his debts. His daughter Phyllida supports her mother and older brothers by secretly writing a society paper. When a costumed man attacks her at a ball, Phyl is saved by a voiceless stranger who brings her to his home in the country—the Blystones’ former estate.
Phyl’s hero is Wallis Hartshorne, an American who has moved to England with enough family members to fill a small town. Loathe to betray her identity, Phyl pretends to be a seamstress. Wallis’s elderly mother hires her to work as a governess for Wallis’s nieces and nephews.
The boisterous Hartshorne clan has plans to reshape the property. Aghast, Phyl writes about the family in pieces designed to turn the neighbors against them. But she’s fascinated by Wallis. For the first time in her life, she’s in love. She giddily accepts his affection. Then a jealous suitor interferes and incites a separation that will betray how far a father will go to provide for his children.