An impoverished spinster, Miss Augusta Penworth is not living the life she had once envisioned for herself. Beset by a series of tragedies that altered the trajectory of her life beyond measure, she struggles to get by, sharing a small house with another gently bred woman in similar circumstances. When Hugh Elliott, Lord Elwynn, comes crashing back into her life, reminding her of the hopes and dreams she’d once had for her future, Augusta is torn. She wants to believe that she can still claim the life and the love that she’d once been promised. But fear is an ugly thing, and when it’s accompanied by severely wounded pride, it can be insurmountable.
Recently widowed after twelve long years in a miserably unhappy marriage that he’d never wanted, Hugh is determined to no longer live a life based solely on duty. He wants the things he’d allowed societal and familial pressures to deny him… the happiness of being with the one and only woman he’s ever loved But Augusta has little trust of him and with good reason. He broke her heart and left her humiliated in the eyes of their peers. If he cannot achieve the Herculean task of convincing her to forgive him and risk her heart on him once more, will they live out the remainder of their lives wondering what might have been?