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Phoebe Rackson is determined to help her family's faltering finances. When she learns of the Soho Bazaar, established specifically to aid the widows and orphans of war casualties, she sees a way. After convincing her widowed mother of the wisdom of her plan to take counter space at the Bazaar, she organizes the entire family and sets up in business.
The Honourable Tobias Wavendon likes the Soho Bazaar. Prohibited from a military career by his family, he takes an interest in helping the families of deceased soldiers. Whenever he can he makes purchases at the Bazaar and his three sisters are among the fashionable clients of the popular establishment.
He finds the goods and the young woman in attendance at one counter of particular interest. The finely crafted needlework provides him with gifts and the detailed wooden carvings intrigue him. The dedicated, determined young lady who operates the stall fascinates him. When his idle brother, heir to their father's earldom, learns of his interest in that certain stall holder, he decides to make mischief.
Phoebe Rackson is confused. One of her customers, dark-haired and attractive, is reserved, polite and kindly one day and flirtatious, indiscreet and merry the next. The turmoil he causes escalates until she forbids him to visit her stall.
Their mutual attraction, though ill-fated, cannot be denied. Class, pride and fortune stand in their way, and duty becomes a curse.