Anthony Elliot, the Earl of Greyley since age 17, has the perfect life. He's handsome, wealthy, and is planning to marry a suitable biddable miss to bear his heir to ensure the family line. Then a cousin dies and, as head of the family, Anthony inherits guardianship of 5 unruly young children. When governess after governess quits, Anthony breaks down and hires Anna Thraxton, a Governess Without Equal--and a bossy, titian-haired beauty he's crossed swords with in the past, since she's a dear friend of his sister. Though he deplores Anna's tendency to express her opinions on every subject, he's far from immune to the entrancing titlt of her lips, and the lush curves and long legs hidden beneath her skirts. When their burning attarction leads to lovemaking, Anna dreams of more--until Anthony offers her not marriage, but the position of mistress. And it isn't until after she leaves that he realizes he loves her--and a wedding ensues.