After a record-breaking sail from China, Alexi de Warenne's moment of triumph quickly vanishes. At his welcoming party, his bewitching childhood friend Elysse O'Neill begins flirting with a shipmate, clearly punishing Alexi for his time at sea. But when Alexi finds Elysse desperately struggling in the man's arms, tragedy ensues. Within days, Alexi weds her to save her honor—and leaves her to forge a new life.Elysse de Warenne rules the ton with her wit and grace, but the whispers of "abandoned bride" follow her ruthlessly. Elysse will never reveal the truth: that she hasn't seen her husband in six years—and that they didn't even consummate their marriage! When Alexi unexpectedly returns to England, Elysse will do whatever it takes to win his heart and claim her place at his side….