Max Persault loves his sea-faring life as a ship-owner and merchant. When his cousin Alistair, the newly elevated Duke of Haslingfield, appeals for his help, he finds himself masquerading as the duke and on his way to Cromer, while Alistair sets off to France to complete an undercover mission.
Max's talents do not lend themselves to acting, however, and before even arriving at his destination, he has aroused the suspicions of Miss Constance Church.
Constance struggles with her misgivings about Max. At first dismissing him, she soon begins to suspect that there may be much more to him than meets the eye. How will she react when the man who calls himself a duke of the realm turns out to be a landless buccaneer? Will his cover be ruined as gossip about the mysterious duke begins to spread in the town?
In this lively and comedic tale of love and masquerade, first impressions are questioned, judgements are upturned and pretences must eventually come undone.