Eleanor Villiers, now Lady Hyde and originally a reluctant wife to Lord Edwin, has has fallen in love with her husband without the reassurance that he loves her back. It's literally the very situation she'd been desperate to avoid. Eleanor begins to try out various tactics to discover her husband's true feelings towards her, only to find she knows very little about love and unfortunately her antics somehow seem to constantly lead her into situations where disciplinary measures become necessary.
Meanwhile, Irene has married Eleanor's brother Hugh Stanley, Viscount Petersham, even though she's in love with another man and has been since childhood. On their honeymoon to Hugh's estates, Irene finds her emotions becoming increasingly confused as she becomes more and more fond of her husband. Under his gentle care and approval her true self begins to emerge, unfortunately leading to some unsafe behavior on her part which requires Hugh's immediate attention. He never wanted a rebellious wife who would need constant discipline, but he doesn't hesitate to mete it out when necessary.
The ladies struggle with their notions of love, the men struggle with the hot and cold temperaments of their wives, and all of them wonder what kind of conclusion their relationships are leading to. Can they make their marriages work?