Miss Adele Russell knew it was sheer folly to attend the Duke and Duchess of Bellingham's grand masquerade. A year ago, she would have been an honoured guest - before the disgrace and death of her father. Now she was a penniless shop girl, scorned by society and mocked by the memory of her broken engagement to the elegant and handsome Lord David Latimer.
But when by chance she found an invitation to the masquerade, the temptation was too great. What danger could there be in going masked to this dazzling affair? She soon found out. First, in the arms of a stranger as mysterious as he was attractive. And then, face to face with the same David Latimer who had broken her heart once and still had the power to do it again . . .
Adele lost everything, including her fiancé, when her father died in a fire leaving her penniless and in disgrace after some irregularities where discovered in his bank. She now lives with her former governess who manages a shop in Bath where Adele works. She is unable to accept that her father might have been more than the victim of two dangerous man and despite her resentment at how he left her she can't forget her feelings for David Latimer her former fiancé.
When the action starts she receives a visit from her father's former secretary, and one of the men responsible for his ruin, telling her not to interfere when the announcement of the new engagement of Latimer is announced, he is supposedly marrying the daughter of the other man involved in her father's death.
Revolted, Adele decides to have a taste of her former life and attend Lady Bellingham's ball. In disguise she snubs David and makes a conquest of another young gentleman. Although she still loves David she is unable to resist going to meet the young gentleman again and her identity is soon discovered by both the gentleman and Latimer.
In a way this story reminded me of Mary Balogh's earlier books, very emotional with intense scenes where the characters mistaken their feelings and remain at odds when they are clearly in love. Adele finds herself in a dangerous situation as the young gentleman proves himself to be a villain but Latimer rescues her and helps her find the evidence that her father was innocent and the other two men were responsible for stealing the money. They don't seem on the right path to happiness though and they need a little push from Latimer's mother who gets her son to think on what really happened five years ago.