Lady Charmaine Brightley will soon lose her place in the world. Her father is ill, and a distant male cousin is in line to inherit the family estate. In the meantime, guests flock to Lady Charmaine’s lavish parties and gaming tables, all designed to raise money for the “deserving” poor. However, if the ton were to discover the identities of the actual recipients of their philanthropy, the revelation would ruin Charmaine. Not that Charmaine cares what anyone thinks. Ever since her devastating first year out in society, she has given up on love. As far as Charmaine is concerned, passion is meant only for the young and foolish. Until a dashing stranger appears at her masquerade, and their mutual desire catches fire. After an ill-fated duel, Duke Konstantin “Kosta” Rostov abandoned Russia for England. Accustomed to privilege and power, Kosta is now a servant of a cruel stepfather. Determined to restore his reputation, Kosta sneaks away to a masquerade ball at Cortwood Manor, where he meets the alluring Charmaine Brightley. For years, Duke Konstantin restricted his romantic affairs to discreet, worldly, and married women. Despite their thrilling connection, Kosta understands he has no place in Lady Charmaine’s life. So when his stepfather sends him back to Cortwood, Kosta can’t resist the opportunity to see her one more time. But Kosta’s stepfather has his reasons for pushing them together. And those plans could destroy the woman who has finally captured Kosta’s heart.