The Earl of Downe has come home to rusticate from this wild ways--spurred by his need to prove his father was right...that he is nothing but a worthless rake. But at a neighboring estate, Letty Hornsby believes dear Richard is her hero, her dream man, her heart's desire! She's been in love with him since childhood, since she was eleven and accidentally knocked him into a river, the first of several such disastrous encounters. Now that the earl's friends have convinced him to leave Town and recuperate from overindulgence (women, alcohol and gambling), Letty is taking advantage of the opportunity and spinning her own plan to save Richard from himself. Richard expects his life to be boring and restful once he's home, but after a chance encounter with the meddlesome Letty and her obnoxious dog, Gus, he discovers there is no rest for the wicked. He soon finds himself captive aboard a smugglers' ship with an adoring young woman who is a walking catastrophe...and her enormous clod of a dog. Never missing a beat, she gets them into one hilarious predicament after another before Richard realizes that she might be the one woman who can save his black soul with a faith in him that is bright enough to burn the shadows from the darkest heart. If he can survive.... Publishers Weekly starred review. "A ray of summer sunshine!" Jill Barnett has concocted another charming tale filled with witty dialog, plenty of humor and a sprinkling of magic.