Entrusted with the true piece of evidence, Rafe takes the long way home to England - a journey made even longer when he acquires some unwanted companions. After rescuing an old woman from footpads, he finds himself stuck with the woman's niece Loretta. Frustrated by the woman's presence, but unwilling to leave her to the Black Cobra's minions, he finds himself with an unexpected companion - and a surprisingly fierce defender. Loretta is not quite certain what Rafe is up to, but it's clearly dangerous. Drawn to him despite the obstacles he tries to place in their way, Loretta quickly realises that this particular rake is the one for her. His need to protect her at all costs is flattering, if annoying, and she has no intention of letting this newfound love go. Once they admit to their feelings, Rafe and Loretta form a forbidding team as they race to bring down the Black Cobra - and begin their happily ever after.