Running away from the school that she hates, headstrong and rebellious, beautiful young Petrina Lyndon clambers over a wall into a country road, flinging her bag over before her and narrowly missing a dashingly handsome young Earl, to whom she complains about the 'horrible, beastly' Guardian who placed her at the school and how he never listens to her. She is even more shocked when the Earl reveals that he himself is actually her Guardian, the Earl of Staverton. And although he is not the elderly 'stuffed shirt' she expected, he is cold and unfriendly and unimpressed by her stated desire to go to London and become one of the 'Lady-Birds' that she has heard so much about. She tells the Earl that she wants to enjoy herself and not get married to some boring and stuffy aristocrat. The Earl is horrified at this unseemly and ignorant revelation and tells her so in no uncertain terms. Determined to dissuade her from a path that would lead her into depravity and danger the Earl insists that she allows him to launch her into Society as a debutante in an effort to marry her off. But Petrina has very different ideas. And she resolves to somehow steal his Lordship's heart!