Ambassador's daughter Marietta Winthrop has given up her own prospects of marriage and family to be a companion to her melancholic aunt. She secretly longs for adventure and the love of a man who won't try and change her but knows she is hoping for too much. She knows that all the men of her acquaintance would banish poor Aunt Clara to a sanatorium and she will not let that happen. But keen of mind, and inspired by a special day spent at the botanic gardens, Marietta begins to wonder if there just might be more to life after all.
Byron Hempthwaite is a disappointment - to his own parents, at least. But he has never let it stop him from following his passions. A highly respected lepidopterist, he has found success and contentment, but he longs to find love, too. But, just as he thinks he may have found such joy, a family tragedy tears him away to Faith Creek, Texas. But, being so useless, he forgot to ask the love of his life for her hand in marriage before he left. He knows she is pretty and clever, witty and delightful, and why should she wait for him? Will he be too late to win the woman he loves back?