Wrestling with wartime life and the conceits of her father, a famous but profligate painter, and having to look after her younger siblings leaves the beautiful Fenella Prentis little time for love. It is difficult enough making ends meet and persuading her father to hand over the proceeds of his current portrait of the grasping and flirtatious model Elaine so that she can pay long overdue bills. But Fenella's head is turned by the unexpected arrival of the dashing Major Rex Ransome, who needs their house to billet Army Officers and at the same time she is blind to the gentler attentions of injured war hero and her nearby neighbour, Sir Nicholas Coleby – until he offers to save her from scandal, notoriety and poverty by marrying her. Although Sir Nicholas is totally in love with her, still Fenella has eyes only for the womanising Major. Slowly, though, the husband she so cruelly shuns and humiliates reveals his true qualities – “a man cool and calm, used to authority, ready to give the right answer to a question, not assuming leadership, but being by instinct a leader among men”. And finally, like a flash of bright light and irrevocably, it suddenly dawns on Fenella that this time it's love.