Whitney is a young, spirited intelligent girl of the country gentry who is sent by her hard, unloving father to Paris to live with her aunt and uncle who love her. There she thrives and becomes an ingénue who is embraced by Paris society. She has many suitors, among them a Frenchman, Nicholas Du'Ville (Nicki) who is really the one you want her to love. (Not atypical for McNaught, there is a good guy who loses to the cad in the end.)
Here's where the character of the hero is a bit inconsistent. For most of the book, he is patient, humorous and tender. Whitney does not want him, however, preferring her childhood love, Paul, who, frankly, is rather bland. Westmoreland takes all this in stride and woos her rather well, actually. She's even starting to realize how much she's attracted to him. But then she discovers Westmoreland is her betrothed and she rebels at his deception. Just as she realizes Paul is not a good choice for her and begins to see that Westmoreland is the right man, one of Whitney's enemies, a catty female who is jealous of her, tells Westmoreland that she has slept with others (untrue).
It's typical early McNaught...a great story and great writing, but a hero who overreacts and abuses the heroine, in this case more than once. But I could not put it down. So it goes on the best list.