Jessica Howerty fell for her brother's best friend when she was a young girl, and never quite recovered. Now, all grown-up, she knows that a disreputable rake like Jacob Hurst is the last thing she should want. After two seasons in London, she's tired of looking for a husband she never wanted anyway. So when Jacob's father offers her to spend the summer at his estate, she thankfully accepts. Then Jacob unexpectedly visits and her plans for a quiet season are immediately ruined, what with her heart skipping a beat every time the handsome earl is near. Jacob Hurst, the Earl of Wortham, has worked very hard on his less-than-favourable reputation to ensure he never marries, all to annoy his father. Though sparks fly whenever they're in the same room, he has never allowed himself to think of Jessica as anything other than his best friend's little sister. That all changes when he finds out she's spending the summer at his father's estate. After years of avoiding his ancestral home, Jacob returns home, even if it means he has to spend more time in Jessica's presence than is good for his peace of mind.