The lovely red-haired eighteen year old Lady Viola Francis is orphaned. She and her fortune are in the power of her stepfather, the sinister Sir Rudolph Vane. Viola's late father, the Earl of Galhampton, was passionately interested in motor cars and from an early age Viola worked with him on his engines. Now she wants to fulfil his ambition to build one that can be sold to the growing numbers of people keen to acquire this new and expensive form of transport. Sir Rudolph, however, has other plans for her and her fortune and wants her to marry the ineffectual Lord Carncross. Viola can only see one way of releasing herself from his tyrannical hold and achieving her aims, she must leave The Castle, hide herself away and develop her engine, hoping that it will make her independent of Sir Rudolph. She finds refuge with her old Nanny and driving there she encounters Maximillian Fitzwilliam, another motor car enthusiast, who invites her to see his workshop at Hurcott Hall. There she discovers that he is the Marquis of Hurcott and meets the beautiful Lady Fairfax. Later Viola is introduced to her father's heir, the new Earl of Galhampton, who has just returned to England from America to find that he has inherited a title without an estate or income. Lady Fairfax appears to have both men in her clutches and treats Viola as a little 'ragamuffin' girl of no account. Without knowing who she is, the dashing current Earl is attracted to Viola, who is herself falling in love with the Marquis. What happens when the Earl discovers her identity, Viola wins a thrilling motor car race and then finds her world turned upside down when Sir Rudolph discovers her whereabouts is told in this exciting romance by BARBARA CARTLAND.