In 1853 London, Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life. She saves every penny to attend a finishing school, dreaming of the day she'll become a real lady - and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn where Mina works and lives. William is a gentleman's son, a charming, but penniless, rogue. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir - either him or his puritanical cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he's married, which works until he's invited to bring his wife for a visit. William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees...then wishes she hadn't. So does William. Deceiving the old man breaks both their hearts. When the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost. Can two hearts survive such deception?