Lord Alec Carstairs
At 25, Lord Alec Carstairs has every advantage--a noble birthright, generational wealth, even dashing good looks--but he also struggles beneath the expectations of his imperious father, the Earl of Dorset. He has been taught that sacrifices must be made, not only to earn his father's approval but also his love. Which is why there is no hope for a future with Annabelle Layton. She does as she pleases, just as she did when she was a child, with no thought given to the consequences of her actions. Not that it keeps him from wanting her.
Miss Annabelle Layton
A stunning beauty, Annabelle, 18, is accustomed to getting what she wants, which is why Alec Carstairs is so infuriating. She has always loved him. He'd been the only constant in her unconventional childhood, but his self-important father thinks her unsuitable. Alec has kept his distance ever since that unbearably hot morning, when he saw her dancing in her family's fountain, nearly naked. Something had burned in his eyes. She had mistaken it for desire. Only later had she realized that it was indignation.
The Honorable Gareth Layton
Alec's childhood friend has grown into a man of remarkable good looks and regrettably bad judgement. With a penchant for high living and unfortunate fashions, he has fallen victim to the schemes of professional gambler, Damien Digby. And Alec might be the only person who can save him.