George MacKinnon was the Earl of Marne, and the Laird of Balfurin Castle. He was also penniless. Years of living beyond his means in London, not to mention his unfortunate habits of too much wine, women, and gambling had stripped the family coffers bare.
There was only one choice: to marry for money.
Charlotte Haversham was the likely candidate. The well-mannered, obedient daughter of a London merchant, she had no choice but to agree to the wedding. Nor did she mind being wed to George. After all, a woman had to marry, and he was as acceptable a bridegroom as any. He had looks, and some sort of charm. Love would come, her mother said, and if it didn't, then she would simply have to find other diversions.
George and Charlotte wed, in a lavish affair that cost her father a fortune. She was a lovely bride, if a bit splotchy, since she was embarrassed to be the center of attention. He was a handsome groom. The wedding night was not unbearable. Neither was it particularly memorable for Charlotte or evidently, George, since the new wife found the new husband with one of the maids a few nights later.
That, too, could have been handled, if only George hadn't simply disappeared.