It is bad enough that the beautiful Celesta Wroxley and her brother, Sir Giles, are alone after their mother had scandalously left their father and ran off with her lover to the disapproval and outrage of Society. To make matters worse Sir Giles has seriously gone off the rails in London, drinking heavily and gambling away what little money they have. And he has come heavily under the influence of the sinister Lord Crawthorne, who appears to be encouraging him to new excesses. To her horror Celesta finds that her brother has lost their delightful home, The Priory, at the gaming tables. And that their estate, including the Garden Cottage that they have made their home, are now owned by the mysterious Earl of Meltham. When she meets the new owner, it is not in the best of circumstances. He comes upon her in the estate peach house, where she is picking the fruit. Sardonically accusing her of stealing the handsome but cynical Nobleman forcefully takes her in his arms and kisses her. Celesta has never before been kissed and she hates the Earl for his arrogance. But, when Sir Giles ends up in the debtors' prison, the Earl saves the day in more ways than one and she starts to see him in a whole new light. Will this light of love finally bring Celesta out of the shadow of her mother's sin?