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Elizabeth Conway's greatest ambition is to discover a comet. Unfortunately, she is the eldest of eight daughters of an earl, so her relatives expect her to take her rightful place in Society. The heavenly bodies she views through her telescope hold far more fascination for Elizabeth than any mere male, although her perpetual beau, dashing Lord Bevis, would change that if he could.
When Tom Conroy, a distant cousin and the new Earl of Clanross, appears after a year's delay, Elizabeth offers him a cool welcome. He is a dull stick and ill-mannered to boot. Yet he is the only man who has shown respect for her astronomical work, and his concern for her younger sisters' welfare reveals a different side to him. Then his heir, Elizabeth's cousin Willoughby, appears with the obvious intent of making a match between his lovely but silly sister and Clanross--and as much mischief as he can. Lord Bevis presses his suit with Lady Elizabeth, until she agrees, at long last, to marry him. She resists making an announcement, though, until he tells his somewhat traditional father that he will not only be marrying an heiress but her telescope.
Elizabeth discovers a comet. Clanross proclaims his pride in her accomplishment, but Lord Bevis's reaction is far more traditional. Willoughby introduces a beautiful woman into the mix and the twins further complicate it. Distraught, confused, perhaps even heartbroken, Elizabeth faces the question of what to do with the rest of her life. And what to do about Clanross, whom she just might love.