The last thing she wants to get is married.
She wants to read her books, and ride the horses, and explore the land, and raise a ruckus... all of which has been very well and good under the watchful but largely indulgent eye of her father. But there has been a longtime arrangement set up between her family and another that, when she comes of age, she'll be wed to their son to honor the longtime friendship of their families, as well as to wed their not-inconsiderable fortunes into a new and greater estate.
She, however, hates the very idea of being married to anyone, let alone a man she has never met, and only her love and duty to her parents is enough to let her acquiesce, ever so reluctantly, to this occasion.
Even so, she refuses to meet the man before their wedding day, figuring that he must be somehow loathsome to need to be arranged to marry her.
What she finds herself wed to is, in fact, a handsome man, as intelligent and cultured as herself, and equally as interested in pursuing his own adventures in the world, rather marriage to a girl that he presumes must be ugly and useless indeed to merit an arranged marriage on the weight of family name.
Imagine their surprise, to find themselves at the altar with someone attractive, well-spoken - even desirable. So begins their honeymoon: expectations at war with actuality, individuality and independence at war with their duties to family and to each other. Both angry, picking fights, and yet unable to deny the base attraction of their bodies... nor able to cast off the promises, extracted with great reluctance, to provide their parents grandchildren upon which to dote.
A honey-month wherin any sweetness found is laced with spice, every bit of commonality and acceptance hard-won in the face of being nearly strangers who want, at the outset, nothing to do with one another.
In a house that has been built expressly for them...
...they will fall in love with their spouse by slow degrees, in fits and starts punctuated by the angriest of fightsex and the most delicate overtures of trust and acceptance.
Then the honey month is over, the time of seclusion alone together, and they are expected to begin participating in the social world around them - hosting and attending dinner parties, and even a masque. Or perhaps some investment of his erupts with success (or a problem that needs tending), calling him away.
Will they successfully navigate the intricacies of parlours and ballrooms without losing the gossamer bindings of affection between them? Will they yearn for one another across distances? And who, new, will come into the picture to potentially disrupt it all - a friend of his youth who has long had a candle burning in her heart, an enterprising man who is searching for a rich, exquisite lover, someone else entirely? Will she become a target for his enemies to spirit away to some hidden place?
Will you find out with me?