MARK STRONG as DEVLIN DEVERELL
Devlin Deverell is the 16th Duke of Wyndlesham. Born into the upper-crust with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, he can’t help being as arrogant as he is. He sees all he has as his natural birthright. He is tall, with a great physique, good looks, and he is a Corinthian. He can do all the manly things like riding, hunting, fencing, curricle racing, boxing, the works. He does not know what it is to lose or fail at anything. Women fling themselves at him all the time and although he avoids emotional involvement, he keeps a mistress. He has a very jaundiced view of women, thinking that their only aim in life to nab some poor sucker and marry him for his money and his title. He doesn’t actually believe in love, and even less in love at first sight. So, when Fenella Hawke arrives, he is horrified to find he is deeply attracted to her physically. He deals with any kind of emotion by instantly suppressing it. So, no wonder he is a powder keg inside, just waiting for the flame to set him off. Cold, proud, haughty, he seems to display only the worst characteristics of the upper class. And yet he is warm and caring to those he loves and trusts (not many). But there is hope for him yet as his love for Fenella grows and he learns humility, tenderness, and forgiveness.
RACHEL WEISZ as FENELLA HAWKE
Fenella Hawke is young, beautiful, and totally naïve about love. She knows about love from books and poetry, but has never experienced the real thing. Her father’s suicide has affected the way she thinks people view her and she decides no one can ever know about it. Living a lie under an assumed name, she works for Devlin’s aged mother. Her emotions go haywire when Devlin is around, but his cold attitude only engenders an equally cold response from her. She thinks his attraction to her is just lust and that he does not respect her. She is headstrong and proud, but truly ethical. Deceit does not come easily to her and there’s a war inside her between giving in to her feelings, and keeping Devlin at arms’ length.