Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, has inherited a vast fortune. The only problem is, he can’t have the money. Not until he either marries or turns 27. Cut off, he’s going mad in the charming, quiet village by the sea. Minerva Highwood is hopelessly awkward in society, but brilliant when it comes to the natural sciences. In Spindle Cove, she’s been making a study of the local caves and cliffs and has made a startling discovery - the fossilized footprint of a prehistoric creature unlike any cataloged before. Colin doesn’t think he can stay in Spindle Cove any longer without going insane. Miranda longs to tell the scientific world about her new discovery. Together they come up with a plan. Colin will take her to the meeting of the Royal Geological Society in Edinburgh to present her findings. There’s a 500-guinea prize for the best presentation, which her research is sure to win, and she’ll give him the money. It’s more than enough to keep him partying in London until his twenty-seventh birthday. And keep him away from her beloved sister, Diana, who Colin has been courting for her fortune. In order to make the trip, they’ll have to make it look as though they’ve eloped. And Colin has conditions: he, quite literally, does not sleep alone. He’s suffered from insomnia ever since his parents’ death and can only find sleep in the arms of a woman. Minerva must agree to share his bed every night. Even though she suspects him to be a conniving seducer, Minerva agrees. Since this trip will ruin her socially, she might as well take the one chance to indulge her “scientific” curiosity and taste passion with an attractive, skilled lover. The two set off for Scotland. Along the way, everything goes wrong. They bicker and clash at every turn, as Colin’s incorrigible ways land them in one mess after another. They are deserted by one coach, robbed on a second. To make progress northward, they find themselves posing as brother and sister, lord and courtesan, husband and wife…even circus performers. But by night, they’re discovering each other stripped of disguises-and they find themselves, however improbably, falling in love. Time and money are running out, and one last disaster threatens to dash all their hopes. To help his now-beloved Minerva reach her dreams, Colin must conquer his worst fears: death and marriage, in that order.