The heroine was an idiot. The horse breeder hero really needed to ask himself if he'd breed his prize stallion to a mare as dumb as this woman.
Cousins Lily and Keira concoct a farcical scheme worthy of 13 year olds who've grown up on the Suite Life of Zack and Cody.Tthey decide Lily will not travel to England to take up her inherited earldom, but instead will travel as a paid companion so that she might spend time with a man on whom she has a crush. Keira will travel to England and take up the reins. When Keira arrives at the earldom, a servant mistakes her for Lily and rather than simply correct him, she blithely assumes Lily's identity.
Declan meanwhile happens to arrive at the neighboring estate as part of his horse breeding hobby and discovers the impersonation and rightly castigates Keira for her fraudulent assumption of Lily's identity and authority. Keira continues to ignore any hint that deceiving an entire village is morally wrong because she's rebuilding the mill and is playing Lady Bountiful at the orphanage, as well as any concern that she might be arrested. Declan regularly reprimands Lily as if she were a particularly dimwitted child, but nonetheless can't keep his hands off of her.
Meanwhile Declan and Keira investigate a long-ago theft that led to a hanging and Keira deals with a mysterious Danish count who owns the neighboring estate and who seems determined to ruin the earldom.
I honestly had to check the cover a few times to see if Julia London really was the author. I cannot believe such a good author wrote this annoying book that seems like a throwback to the 1970s Harlequin Romances in which a young and stupid virgin needs a big, strong, smart man to save her from her own idiocy.