Book one The Earl's Jealousy out now
When the unthinkable happens and his father and elder brother are both killed in an accident, Michael suddenly finds himself as the Earl of Melford and he wastes no time in ordering an architect to design his house, in buying his stallion and, most important of all, in petitioning for the hand of Lady Christine.
Despite knowing that Edmund Carstairs has been keeping company with her, he gives him little thought. He has even less status and fortune than Michael himself before he inherited his title and estate. Michael cannot wait to marry Christine and make her his countess. But when Edmund Carstairs tells him that he and Christine are in love and that Michael stole her away from him against her will, he allows his jealousy to consume him. He does not ask his wife how she feels, he is afraid she might confirm Carstairs' tale and he cannot bear for her to say it.
When he finds her in the arms of Edmund Carstairs, he believes he will make her happy by letting her go to him.
After arranging a suitable match for his younger sister, Grace, Michael is forced to find his wife and bring her back when Grace refuses to marry unless Christine is there to see it. In truth, he regrets having let her go and is eager for this excuse to try to reconcile with her.
Against the advice of his brothers, he takes her back, prepared to forgive her, but he is devastated to learn that he made a horrendous mistake and that it is she who must forgive him.