Miss Emily Price is in desperate need of funds. With her family estate mortgaged and her young brother not yet of age, it falls to her to save her family from financial ruin. What is a lady with no title or connections to do? Auction her virginity at one of London's most notorious brothels.
Heir to a baronetcy, James Hughes has always been caught between two worlds. His fortune and education help him pass for a member of the ton, but his career as an engineer and his family ties stop him from actually becoming one. Quiet and serious-minded, he knows he needs to marry into the peerage for his sake, as well as his family's. But when he finds himself by chance at an auction in London's infamous Scarlet Salon, he throws his ambitions to the wind to bed the lovely Miss Price.
It doesn't take long for Emily to lose her heart to her dry-humored, generous benefactor. But when their affair goes public in one of the most scandalous newspapers in town, Emily must decide if she must cast her feelings aside and leave James to pursue his societal ambitions, and James must decide if family and duty are worth giving up the chance of love.
Scandal, manipulation, and ambition hinder the lovers' path to happiness. Only they can decide if love is worth fighting for.