A woman running a prestigious London auction house? Preposterous! But that is exactly what Emma Fairbourne intends to do when her father dies, leaving her the reins of this fabulous enterprise. Of course, she is not addlepated enough to do this openly and scare away her wealthy collectors. So she and her friend concoct a deception, hiring a handsome and charming front man who will do her bidding . . . All would have proceeded smoothly—if it weren't for the maddening interference of Darius, the arrogant Earl of Southwaite, who has been her father's "silent partner" and now shares ownership of Fairbourne's. An earl, of course, has no interest in running an auction house—and Darius is certainly not interested in allowing the lovely Miss Fairbourne to run it either, her ludicrous scheme notwithstanding. Clearly the business must be sold. But the headstrong Emma is like no other lady he has ever encountered, refusing to follow his dictates. Holding his temper in check, Darius decides to attack on a different front. There is another way to achieve her surrender, one far more pleasurable for both of them . . .