Regency orphan Esme Leonardo, daughter of a blue-blooded mama and an Italian opera singer (much frowned-upon by mama's family), goes to stay with proper Aunt Dora when her father dies. And, being an impetuous, straightforward sort, she promptly finds herself interfering in the lives of her cousins--especially that of handsome young Kit, who's pledged to wed plain, nasty Lydia Milliman but adores another. (Lydia wants to marry Kit because he'll become a Marquis when his cousin, that notorious rake Lord Locklynde, dies.) First, therefore, Esme tries to pair Lydia up with some alternative swain--to no avail. And then, in desperation, Esme tells Lydia that Kit will never become the Marquis because Lord Locklynde is about to be fruitful and multiply with. . . Esme. . . who, in truth, has never even met Lord L.! So, inevitably, Lord L. soon hears of Esme's deception, berates her charmingly, and insists on following through with a phony courtship. . . which, of course, turns into a real one, as Esme eventually learns that Lord L. isn't the blackguard he's supposed to be. Standard froth, but bright and pleasant and generally un-forced.