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Widower Sir Adam Wilson, Bart., has put off remarrying in favor of seeing to his lands and the tenants who work the fields. At thirty-five and a father of a young daughter, he can no longer ignore his need for an heir. When he discovers how his grandfather found his Lady Wilson, he decides to do the same—run a bride contest at the local fair.
Although she didn't exactly apply for the position of governess for Sir Adam's daughter, widow Charlotte is happy to accept—she loves Penelope as if she were own, and Charlotte did make a promise to her mother regarding her education. When she learns of Sir Adam's plan for finding a bride, Charlotte and the local villagers devise a way to fix the contest in her favor—by ensuring she's the only one who enters.