Shy bride Venetia Duluth has been married to her soldier husband Adam only a few weeks when he dies enroute to the Crimea. She returns to his family estate in Somerset, finding Adam's kind and delightful Mum; Cousin Ralph, who oozes with charm; and saturnine Cousin Damien, who looks like Adam but is more reserved and complex--and who seems to take an instant dislike to Venetia. He recently lost his own fiancÃ‰e, Delphine, in a punting accident after a quarrel. Neighbors suspect he done the dirty deed. Soon Venetia--with Cousin Ralph in hot pursuit--is run away with by a horse, is locked into a rat-infested boathouse, is almost slung over a collapsing marble balustrade, and is nearly pitched off a high ladder. Can someone have noticed that she is carrying the new heir to Garfield Priory and if so, who has the most to lose--Damien or Ralph? No surprises here, but an innocuous dose of the usual.