Alone in a gentleman's bedchamber, rummaging through his clothing, governess Leah Vance risks social ruin. Only by selling political information can she pay for her sister's care. And the letter she found in Julian DeChambrelle's coat could be valuable, if the ex-sea captain himself had not just walked in. As a navy officer, Julian knew his purpose. As a new earl, he's plagued by trivialities and marriage-obsessed females. Miss Vance's independence is intriguing, and useful. In return for relaying false information, he will pay her handsomely. But trusting her, even caring for her? That would be pure folly. Yet when he sees the danger that surrounds her, it may be too late to stop himself.