Catherine Winters has lived quietly in the village of Bodley-on-the-Water for a number of years. Although she is a lady and most people like her, there is a mystery surrounding her. It is known that she is a widow, but that is all anyone knows about her past. She is happy with her retired life. She does not want more. She teaches music to the children of Mr. and Mrs. Adams, who live at Bodley House nearby. Occasionally she is invited there to make up numbers for some social occasion if Mrs. Adams is short one lady guest. But Catherine is always apprehensive if there are guests expected from beyond the neighborhood. She is afraid she will recognize some of them—or that she will be recognized.
Rex Adams, Viscount Rawleigh, is Mr. Adams's identical twin. When his brother and sister-in-law return to Bodley House after being away for a while, he goes with them along with two of his closest friends and a few other guests. Rex is bored and restless now that the Napoleonic Wars are at an end and he has sold his commission in a cavalry regiment. He also has a bit of a reputation as a rake. He does not expect to be vastly entertained in the country, but he hopes to find someone with whom to flirt for a few weeks. A pretty widow would suit his purpose admirably.
Catherine and Rex are on a collision course for disaster—and for the aftermath of disaster.