An orphan from London's East End, a fugitive from the poorhouse, Violet Cooper was tired of sleeping on stoops and being hungry and cold. But she dared to enter a world forbidden to her and her kind. Even marriage to a gentle, elderly knight and the title Lady Goodwin could not open closed doors, stop the cold stares, or hush the shadowy rumours of murder. He was a a man of the world. The rules of Victorian society did not interest him, nor could a gauche pretender with a Cockney accent possibly turn his head. Yet Theodore Blake, second son of the Earl of Harding, was immediately compelled by Violet - and soon found himself defending the vulnerable young widow in the face of a murder investigation. But wedding vows were the only way to save her from a certain hanging. Two people from different worlds were brought together by passion, bound together by whispered accusations, and torn apart by scandal and misfortune. The world claimed they should never love each other. Their hearts claimed otherwise.