All of her life, Elizabeth Sidham, 20, has dreamed of one day marrying into one of Britain’s elite families. It had been Elizabeth’s mother’s wish, too, even to her dying day.
When George Arbuthnot invites Elizabeth to a dinner dance at his family’s manor house, she believes that finally, her dream might come true—for he “belongs.” He is “one of them”, a member of the British Peerage.
George courts Elizabeth, encouraged and guided by his domineering mother, Catherine Arbuthnot. She is determined that he produce an heir—albeit that he has a predilection, one such that he might never marry. But that is a subject, neither mother nor her only son talk about. At his Mother’s coaching and insistence, George woos Elizabeth and the two are married.
After their honeymoon, the couple move into Heathwood Manor, the ancestral home. George’s best friend, William, who is always in the background and often present, promises to “always be a support.” And he is, to both George and Elizabeth.
But so, too, is Catherine, who still controls George’s life. She is eager for him and his new bride, to produce an heir. And dutifully, within the year, the couple have a baby, Young Will.
The birth is difficult, and Catherine, soon takes control, insisting her young, daughter-in-law keep to her bed. Catherine busily begins making plans for her grandson, the schools he will attend, the life he must live. It matters not what the couple want. Catherine knows best.
George and Elizabeth feel helpless at the domineering mother and mother-in-law’s plans. But George’s friend and secret lover, William, knows he can’t stand by and let his surrogate family suffer. He has promised himself he will be there for them . . . always. And he makes plans to fulfil this promise.