Drugged and auctioned off at an inn to meet a half-brother’s money problems! Thus the opening scene frames the story from which all else follows. Vicar’s daughter meets rake under exceptional circumstances.
Mary's life has just been overturned by the death of her father and foul play by her half-brother. Enter an opium addicted Marquis, Alasdair, who thinks to redeem himself by saving the drugged damsel. I think your imagination can supply the rest.
The story is liberally punctuated by love scenes ranging across the countryside at various points along their circuitous, often uncomfortable journey. Traveling by horse, on foot and for a brief moment by gig, to London. More substance connecting the sexual interludes would have been welcomed.
Mary has character and so does the Marquis, the plot has promise but neither really lived up to their full potential. Still it is a story that speaks of love and redemption and that may be quite enough.