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Christopher Monfort, the current Earl of Leicester, is awarded the stronghold of Bognor Bluff for services rendered on the battlefield. However, the peasants he inherits along with the domain defy him at every turn. Angered, when they torch a valuable piece of land, he decrees that the next person who causes trouble will be publicly whipped to set an example for the rest.

Jaimie Belhaven, daughter of the ambassador to France on behalf of his Majesty King George II, grows up a near hoyden thanks to her indulgent father. In desperation Sir Francis sends her to an aunt at the coast so she will learn proper decorum. Yet impetuous as ever, Jaimie dresses in rough garb one afternoon and sneaks away from the aunt's strict supervision and runs straight into the arms of the angry earl. She cannot risk revealing her true identity, too much is at stake. Instead she chooses the only way out, even though it might well be her death.


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