Alexander Warner, Marquess of Chester, indulges
In pleasure daily. A former courtesan, the Countess of Devon, Georgianna Ponsonsby, Is Alex's latest mistress.She plans to
snag Alex as her next husband when the old earl expires. Her (undisclosed) half sibling, Frederic Black, and Alex become bosom
Betrayed by his wife before she even marries
Alex, he's older and wiser now, and will not to fall into the parson's mouse trap again. Not fond of his wife's illegitimate
daughter, Alex allows Emma Prittchet to bring up the girl. Rude and spoiled,
young Beatrice is at first able to intimidate her governess.
Freddy Black is a scoundrel of the first water. Attempting to seduce Jane, he totally frightens her. Given
permission to visit her childhood friend, Jane blurts out her problems to Clarissa who convinces Jane that Clarissa should
take her place as a substitute governess for a month until Jane finds a new job.
Clarissa is hired under an assumed name.
Out riding one morning with Beatrice, Clarissa's
horse stumbles. She meets Alex for the first time and is saved when the earl, riding nearby, saves her from harm.
night Clarissa is grabbed and pulled Iito an empty room across the dark hallway where she is thoroughly kissed by someone.
She is unaware that it was Alex, totally foxed, who had grabbed her thinking he's found a willing bed partner at his orgies.
Freddy Black now begins his pursuit of Clarissa
who is sure he's the man who kissed her. When he continues to plague her, she pulls out a pistol and confronts him. Freddy
backs down and leaves.
Meanwhile, Clarissa and Lady Beatrice become
friends. One day she meets Daniel DeLand, the marquess' cousin. He's caretaker of the Priory's library. He inquires about
Jane's whereabouts and her health. It dawns on Clarissa that Jane once mentioned Daniel to her.
Clarissa finds ways to keep Beatrice interested
in her lessons when a caged budgerigar is allowed to stay in the schoolroom while they try to tame and teach the bird
The marquess visits the schoolroom. He comes
primarily to see Clarissa, but he is also intrigued by attempts to train the little bird.
Since Alex can't forget the alluring kiss
he stole from Clarissa, he steals a few more. She experiences new emotions and stirrings she can't forget while in his
embrace and his passionate kisses.
Alex leads Clarissa willingly to a
sheltered gazebo where she lets him make love to her. She falls in love with him but is certain their relationship is
When Beatrice and Clarissa use Alex's training
track for a race, the girl is badly injured and remains unconscious.
Freddy shows up again, drunk in Clarissa's
room, and she grabs the pistol again. When he persists, she shoots him. He collapses. Panic stricken, she runs to
Alex for help. Freddy is alive but wounded. When Alex discovers his friend's uncouth
behavior, Alex sends him away permanently.
Clarissa then leaves the Priory.
With Freddy gone for good, Jane decides
to return as governess. She and Daniel DeLand are about to marry. Suddenly Alex shows up at the vicarage. Clarissa and Alex's
private meeting quickly turns to heated desire and lovemaking.