Emily Barnett is happy to be who she is: a country-bred old maid at 26, with a blind sister and niece to care for. But her pompous, stuffy cousin Reginald wants her to also be his wife--he inherited her family home and needs her dowry to run it properly. When Emily refuses to marry him, he kicks the three women out. Emily goes to London, determined to find work as a governess. At her first interview, in the home of Michael Farrow, Earl of Winchester, she discovers that working for a rake can be dangerous. Michael is interviewing potential mistresses, and he mistakes Emily for one of those candidates. After he realizes his error, he insists that she take the job as governess to his wards--an offer Emily can't refuse when he also allows her sister and niece to move into his house. Emily's days are filled with teaching, but her nights are full of teasing, as Michael tries to convince her to take on a dual role as his mistress. With scheming females waiting in the wings, can Emily and Michael learn in time that only true love is too hot to handle?