A stunning beauty, Annabelle has always gotten what she wants, which is why Lord Alec Carstairs is so infuriating. He has kept his distance ever since that unbearably hot morning, when he saw her dancing in a fountain, nearly naked. Something had burned in his eyes, and she'd hoped it was desire. It had merely been indignation.
Lord Alec Carstairs can never have a future with Annabelle Layton, even though he wants her desperately. They have been friends since childhood, but she does as she pleases, with no thought for the consequences-and Alec has an earldom to maintain for the family name.
But when her brother is lured into a dangerous wager, he has no choice. It ends in disaster when Annabelle suffers terrifying injuries. Haunted by his part, Alec leaves England for the Peninsular Wars, but fighting enemies is no substitute for battling his demons.
When he returns, hailed as a hero at the start of the London Season, only Annabelle knows the sort of man that he really is. The honor everyone praises is illusory-a casualty of that day long ago when he abandoned her without even saying goodbye.
Can Alec uncover its painful truths behind the web of lies everyone has spun between them and still keep his distance? Annabelle is more beautiful than ever. Can he deny his forbidden desire, even as new secrets threaten to destroy everything he has worked to become?