The world of Brett Armstrong, the Earl of Tremont, collapses when his wife and unborn child die. Determined to punish himself for the part he played in their demise, he turns his back on society and retreats to the country. Hard, physical labor during the day and mind-numbing gin at night help to keep at bay the demons that threaten to devour him. Until Catherine Hammond creeps into his world. Not wishing to resurrect his dormant emotions and the resulting pain, Brett struggles against the sensuality she exudes and battles to defeat his rising desire. Abused by her aristocratic husband, commoner Catherine Hammond flees from his cruelty. Her hope is to hide and create a new life. She vows to never again associate with the upper classes that have heaped unbearable pain upon her family. Escaping without funds, Catherine is forced to work as a servant in the Earl of Tremont’s household. His tantalizing, amorous advances ignite a fire within the cold regions of her heart, but she refuses to fall in love with a man who may destroy her.