Edward de Raaf, the Earl of Swartingham has a problem. After yet another secretary has fled from his service he desperately needs a replacement. But finding someone willing to put up with his abrasiveness and temper is proving difficult. Impoverished widow Anna Wren desperately needs a job to keep the wolf from the door. She is even willing to put up with the Earl to earn some much needed money and manages to con her way into the job. With small-pox scars from childhood, most women find Edward repulsive but Anna is able to see beyond the scars to the man beneath. As they battle wits their affection grows and soon becomes attraction. But the town gossips are whispering and scandal could destroy any chance they have. The stars of this book are definitely the women. They really carry the whole show. I thought the male characters, even Edward were mostly just decoration. That's not a complaint, I like books about strong willed women and this is definitely a good one.