Wisdom is in short supply when the Honourable Louisa Rainley and twins Lord James and Lady Susan Haythe are launched into London's fashionable society in the spring of 1818. They are quickly nicknamed "the three wise monkeys" for their individual tendencies to 'hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil'.
The Haythe twins, siblings of the new Marquess of Cheriton, are confident that London will be at their feet before a month is out. Louisa Rainley is not so certain. Of a more practical, and mature, nature than her friends, Louisa can envisage problems that might complicate their debut. Susan will not listen to advice, and James sees only good in everyone.
Two years before she had imagined herself in love with Nicholas Haythe, the Marquess of Cheriton. She is convinced the infatuation has passed and she has no desire to spend more time than is necessary in his company. Lord Cheriton is old beyond his years, encumbered by his father's death, his new responsibilities and memories of his service with Wellington's army. Now he feels burdened by the charge of the three young people on their come-out. His brother and sister he can discipline, but Louisa he cannot control, any more than he can control his growing feelings for her.
Wisdom is a hard-won commodity, and sometimes the cost is substantial. But if they are to find success and happiness the three "monkeys," and the rest of their family, must be wise enough to accept love, in all its guises.