Much to her father’s dismay, Miss Amelia Buxton aspires to become a spinster, just like her eccentric aunt. Growing up with parents who married for every reason but love, she has never seen a joyful marriage. When Amelia requests a summer trip to the legendary waters of Brighton, her father allows her the excursion, but with one requirement: she must return engaged, or agree to the proposal of the man of his choosing.
Crawling with tourists, Brighton is not the town Adam Claridge once loved. When his sister Eleanor disappears without warning, Adam is desperate to bring her home. In his search, he happens upon Miss Amelia Buxton, a young tourist that proves vital in his search for Eleanor. But Amelia is conducting a search of her own—a search for a husband—and Adam has little choice but to offer a fair trade: he will play the role of Amelia’s betrothed in exchange for her assistance in finding Eleanor.
Convenient at first, Amelia and Adam’s arrangement quickly plummets into disarray. Falling in love had not been part of their bargain.