If Chase Dearborn, the powerful Earl of Allyndale, found Meredee Price's family in Scarborough, surely he'd continue his quest to challenge Meredee's stepbrother to a duel. Meredee is determined to avoid the earl at all costs. But saving a drowning young lady thwarts Meredee's plans when her act of heroism nets her the attention of the lady's brother and guardian-none other than Chase himself. Meredee's gentle ways and tranquil beauty touch Chase's guarded heart from the moment he meets her. He's waited a lifetime for a worthy companion-someone he can trust with his deepest secrets. But then he discovers that Meredee has harbored a secret of her own, one that love may not overcome.