On his return from the Peninsular War, grievously wounded and troubled in spirit, Alexander Quainton decides that an insouciant manner is the best way to avoid the pity he abhors. Exercising his damaged body with daily walking excursions proves an excellent way of avoiding social engagements. Carolina Finmere, shy and no more than passable in looks, has failed in three seasons to attract a suitor.
For three months, they tramp Bath and its surrounding hills together, gaining in strength and--unwittingly--in intimacy. When September comes it is time to part, unless they admit their love for each other. Carolina knows she must initiate the declarations of devotion, for Alexander is convinced that a man so damaged is no fit mate for a gently bred woman. How can Carolina love someone so scarred and deformed as he?
Plucking up her courage, Carolina declares her love for Alexander. Will he admit his for her, or will his fear of seeing revulsion in her eyes put paid to their blossoming love?