The conflict between the pragmatists and the dreamers that provides the drama in the Chronicles continues.
Vanessa Paris is besotted with Benji, the devil-may-care son of John and Elizabeth Herries. Despite returning her all-consuming passion, Benji will not commit himself to marriage because he fears he can never remain constant and will eventually betray her. Benji's actions finally prompt Vanessa to leave Cumbria and seek a life in London. She stays at Hill Street with the ever persistent Ellis, who worships her. Needing to care for someone, with her father and Elizabeth gone and no-one to advise her, Vanessa thinks of the contribution she could make to the world if were she married to Ellis.
At the most glittering and sophisticated ball she has attended, the 40-year-old financier asks for her hand a third time....