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Lady Alyssa is a hardworking no-nonsense noblewoman. Her wastrel father has her selling off all kinds of treasures from her beloved estate to pay his gambling debts, so when the Duke of Gillingham, Lord Morgan shows up at her country estate, of course, she believes he is there to settle an IOU.
She is surprised to discover that her father has sold her home out from under her to Morgan. Not too worry, she has money set aside to live in a small cottage but even that is taken from her to pay her father's debts. When Morgan hears of Alyssa's dilemma he is appalled and decides to employ her as the steward of the house until his brother and his wife take residence. Alyssa gladly accepts this job.
There is a powerful attraction between self-reliant Alyssa and Morgan. She erroneously believes though that he loves her and wants to marry her but Morgan is of the ilk that marriage is not for him and proposes to set her up as a mistress. Alyssa flatly refuses this offer, she is honorable.
Interwoven into this story is Morgan's search for British traitors. He does not reveal this to Alyssa and she is actually unaware of his clandestine dealings until almost the end of the book.
Both the leads acted reasonably and more importantly they never let a lot of misunderstandings get in the way of their romance. How refreshing for people to forgive each other quickly and for them to say those important words, "I am sorry." Even though Alyssa is very independently minded she is not immovably stubborn. She thinks through her situations logically and has the sensibilities of a woman living in the 19th century This is one of Ms. Basso's best.