Gabriel Fairchild's valor during the Battle of Trafalgar earns him the title of hero, but costs him both his sight and his hope for the future. Abandoned by the fiancee he adored, the man who once walked like a prince among London's elite secludes himself in his family's mansion, cursing his way through dark days and darker nights.
Prim nurse Samantha Wickersham arrives at Fairchild Park to find her new charge behaving more like a beast than a man. After their first fiery confrontation, she engages the arrogant earl in a hilarious battle of both wit and wills. Although he pronounces her a "tart, vinegary creature without an ounce of womanly softness about her", he is secretly intrigued by her dry sense of humor, her lack of pity, and the bold way she brooks no nonsense from him. Whenever she is near, he feels the stirrings of a desire he never thought he would feel again.
As Samantha begins to let the light back into Gabriel's life and his heart, they both discover that some pleasures are best explored in the dark.