Penelope Ashford, Portia Cynster's younger sister, has grown up with every advantage, wealth, position and beauty. Yet Penelope is anything but a pretty face in a satin gown forceful, willful, and blunt to a fault, she has for years devoted her considerable energy and intelligence to caring for the forgotten orphans of London's sooty and seamier streets.
But now her charges are mysteriously disappearing. Desperate, Penelope turns to the one man she knows who might help her, Barnaby Adair.
Handsome scion of a noble house, Adair has made a name for himself in certain circles where his powers of observation and deduction have seen him solve several serious and unsavory crimes within the ton. His pedigree, relentless intelligence, and discretion make him a deadly avenger in an elegant guise. Despite his skills or perhaps because of them he makes Penelope distinctly uncomfortable, but the stakes are too grave. Throwing caution to the wind, defying every rule for unmarried ladies, she appears on his doorstep late one night determined to recruit his talents.