The Duke of Ashby is cunning and vicious. He cares only for wealth and advancement. As one of the wealthiest men in society, he desires more, which includes the lands and titles of his longtime friend and nemesis, the Duke of Norland. These two selfish men will do anything to get what they want, even if it means sacrificing their children's happiness.
In a thoughtless and foolish gamble, the dukes betroth their oldest children. The first child to end the engagement forfeits the wealth and lands of his or her father to his foe.
Phillip, the Earl of Arundel and son of the Duke of Ashby, begrudgingly agrees to marry Lady Olivia, the daughter of the Duke of Norland, so his father won't lose the bet and thrust their family into poverty. His desires change, however, when he almost dies in an ill-fated accident and wakes with amnesia in an unfamiliar place. After falling in love with the lovely Miss Emma Parker, who nurses him back to health, he realizes that he cannot marry someone he does not love. His eyes are opened to his father's greed and selfishness, and he is determined to marry for love.