When the Duke of Stanbrook announces his plans to marry spinster Dora Debbins, friends rally around them in celebration while an old nemesis swears vengeance against the couple, casting a shadow across their marriage.
Eight years ago, George Crabbe, Duke of Stanbrook, opened his Cornwall estate to wounded officers of the Napoleonic Wars and ended up becoming especially close to six of them, known as the Survivors. Over the past couple of years, all the Survivors have made their ways back into the world and found soul mates, leaving the duke extremely happy for them but also lonely. At 48, having been a widower for more than a decade, he discovers he's contemplating marriage with a certain spinster he met a little over a year ago, the sister-in-law of one of the Survivors. Once the idea is planted, he moves forward quickly, and soon Miss Dora Debbins has agreed to be his wife. For her part, Dora’s life hasn’t turned out in any way as she expected, but she has found contentment in her modest, quiet path as a music teacher. When the Duke of Stanbrook turns up on her doorstep, proposing marriage, she is stunned but accepts. Finding him honorable and attractive, she’s hopeful they can make a good life together. Neither is prepared for the true happiness they find in each other’s company, and as they learn more about each other’s past disappointments and struggles, they fall in love and help each other heal. The duke’s first marriage was marred by shameful secrets he’s never shared with anyone, and when a member of his first wife’s family seems determined to make trouble for the newlyweds, even the couple’s friends may not be able to shelter them from his dark intentions.
Balogh wraps up her celebrated series with a perfect happy-ever-after for the older duke, his spinster bride, and the whole Survivors’ Club.