A marquess in need of the right bride. An earl’s daughter in search of a purpose. A betrayal that ends in murder and balloons into a threat to the realm.Sebastian Cynster knows time is running out. If he doesn’t choose a wife soon, his female relatives will line up to assist him. Yet the current debutantes do not appeal. Where is he to find the right lady to be his marchioness? Then Drake Varisey, eldest son of the Duke of Wolverstone, asks for Sebastian’s aid.Having assumed his father’s mantle in protecting queen and country, Drake must go to Ireland in pursuit of a dangerous plot. But he’s received an urgent missive from Lord Ennis, an Irish peer—Ennis has heard something Drake needs to know. Ennis insists Drake attends an upcoming house party at Ennis’s Kent estate so Ennis can reveal his information face-to-face.Sebastian has assisted Drake before and, long ago, had a liaison with Lady Ennis. Drake insists Sebastian is just the man to be Drake’s surrogate at the house party—the guests will imagine all manner of possibilities and be blind to Sebastian’s true purpose.Unsurprisingly, Sebastian is reluctant, but Drake’s need is real. With only more debutantes on his horizon, Sebastian allows himself to be persuaded.