Constance Wynchcomb, companion to the widowed Lady Caddick-Boyle, is traveling to the Essex countryside when their motor breaks down and they are stranded. They seek refuge in a public house where Constance meets the most interesting man.
Evan Galsworthy is on a quest while visiting his mentor, Bishop Oswald Kingsley. His mother died at his birth and he seeks to find out the whereabouts of his father. He is sure the Bishop can tell him, but the Bishop claims he never knew his father nor where he might be found.
Evan’s chance encounter with Constance has made him realize it is time to settle down with a wife and family. He finds Constance desirable and asks to court her.
Her ladyship is suspicious of his intentions. Constance’s mother, her cousin, married an unsuitable man who’s financial ruin has left the family destitute. Lady Caddick-Boyle hires an agent of inquiry, who uncovers Evan’s secret past, secrets that have stayed buried for decades.
Constance accepts Evan’s offer of marriage despite his dodgy family history. Lady Caddick-Boyle refuses to attend the wedding.
When the Bishop dies, Evan discovers his father’s identity in the man’s private papers and is devastated to learn of his shocking origin. There is no way he can marry Constance.
Constance follows her heart, only to have it broken. Jilted at the alter, she returns to the employ of her ladyship.
Constance must decide whether to seek her own truth or stay at her ladyship’s house and forever wonder if the man she’s fallen in love with wasn’t the man she believed him to be.
What would any sensible girl do?