Once again a frilly Regency butterfly, netted in marriage against her will, blunders her way to true love and virtue. Beautiful Lady Leonora Fordyce weds Etienne Lambert (who has ""a bearing quite patrician in spite of his lowly origins"") in order to save her profligate father, the Earl of Castleford, from debtors' prison. But Leonora, spoiled article that she is, cannot imagine loving her new husband; after all, he's a bastard, rumored to be a servant's child, an impoverished orphan who left England and returned from the Colonies a rich, ""enlightened"" tycoon. Noble hubby Etienne will not force Leonora's affections, but they will slowly (alas, very slowly) begin to swell and perc--through months of cloudy misunderstandings, flights hither and yon, and the birth of a son (which for reasons too muzzy to bother with, Leonora claims is another's). A large factor in Leonora's eventual change of heart is her sojourn in rural Yorkshire, where she finds that peasants do not eat cake, becomes enchanted with the latest in modern farming methods, and learns of her husband's tragic past. Finally, their child's kidnapping leads them both to France, where there's a confrontation with Etienne's nasty half-brother and then a happy reunion after a Luddite threat to one of Etienne's factories. A filigreed web in plain-Jane prose.