An unsparkling but decent little Regency romance, with one nice twist: the villain is driven to his excesses by unrequited love. . . for his wife. Young country-bred Elinor Maddison is about to be launched into Society via a London season under the sponsorship of Aunt Caroline. But when Elinor makes the gala Scene, she promptly becomes a target for the malice of Lord Oliver Scanborough and his wife Lady Mary! Why so? Well, long ago Elinor's father Hugh and Lady Mary, both married, had fallen desperately in adulterous love--and Lord Scanborough, passionately adoring wife Mary, killed Hugh in a duel; so now neither Oliver nor Mary (who still doesn't love her hubby) can bear seeing Hugh's offspring without paroxysms of rage beetling their noble brows. Oliver creates a nasty scandal, then. Lord James Silverton is forced to wed Elinor. But the marriage is a happy one and a child is born. So, while Mary has a change of heart, Oliver plans more evil: the kidnapping, rape, and (perhaps even) death of Elinor! James gallops in on the assault; a duel is inevitable. But Oliver, after Mary pleads with him, turns the pistol on himself . . . and Mary, loving at last, rescues him. In all: soft, butter-pat romance, with a few tasty melodramatics.