Miss Juliana Fiori keeps trying to behave impeccably in the stifling London society, but everywhere she goes, there is malicious gossip about her, her brothers and most of all, about her scandalous mother. Possibly even more damaged by their mother's faithlessness than her brothers, Juliana constantly fears that sooner or later, blood really will tell, and she will prove to be just like her mother. After all, she kissed Simon Pearson, the Duke of Leighton, just to provoke a reaction from him at the Royal Art Exibition, and he's been cold and utterly disdainful since he discovered her identity.
Juliana doesn't realize that Simon holds so rigidly to correct manners and propriety, not just because of his lofty title, but because he knows that scandal will inevitably erupt around him once society discovers that his younger sister, Lady Georgiana, is hidden away in Yorkshire having a child out of wedlock. He needs to work damage control, and ally himself with a family of impeccable taste and reputation, before everything blows up in his face. So he will marry a young lady of good breeding, even though his heart beats faster every time he sees or speaks to the vibrant Juliana.
When she makes him a wager that she will prove to him in less than 14 days that a life without passion is not worth living, he knows he should refuse, but is powerless to resist. Soon the icy Duke of Disdain will discover that when it comes to a stubborn and fiery Italian beauty, he doesn't stand a chance.