Miss Ruth Hawthorn helps support her fatherless family the only way she can: doling out love advice in a local newspaper column under an assumed name, The Swan. When she receives a lucrative request for an in-person consultation from someone signed “O,” her brother persuades her to go to London with him, teaching him what he needs to know in order to survive the short appointment. But when “O” moves up the time of the rendez-vous and Ruth’s brother is nowhere to be found, she is forced to take matters into her own hands.
Philip Trent, Lord Oxley, knows precisely which woman will best fill his late mother’s shoes as the viscountess—now all he needs is a little help winning her over, swarmed as she is by suitors. Ashamed of his ineptitude with women but determined to succeed, Philip secretly enlists help. The youthful, bespectacled Swan seems like the last person capable of providing such help, but Philip finds in the young man both a friend and a confidant, with a surprising understanding of love.
Philip’s choice of woman is proving more difficult than anticipated, though, and Ruth’s ongoing disguise and frequent meetings with him are taxing her conscience—and her heart. With more secrets than Ruth can manage and a heart long since lost to her most important client, she faces the threat of discovery and ruin—a prospect somehow eclipsed by the heartbreak she will face when those secrets are inevitably discovered by the man she loves.
True of Heart is a sweet Regency retelling of Shakespeare’s classic, Twelfth Night.