Freddie Sullivan, having failed to persuade his cousin Julia to marry him, goes to Bath in the desperate hope of finding a rich wife so that he can pay off his debts. Clara Danforth, plain and wheelchair-bound, seems the ideal choice, and Freddie sets about wooing her with his good looks and flattery and considerable charm. Clara is not deceived for a moment, but she encourages him anyway as for once she wants to possess something beautiful in her life. The path to love between these two after they marry is a rocky one as Freddie on the one hand struggles to overcome his gambling addiction and his shame over the deception he perpetrated against Clara and she struggles to overcome her physical handicaps and low self-esteem. Can Freddie ever be forgiven? Can he ever forgive himself? Can Clara ever trust his fragile love?