When Ellen Jamieson breaks up with her long-standing boyfriend, she plans to go traveling. But first she agrees to house-sit for her parents, who are trying to find a buyer for their idyllic cottage in the Cotswold village of Oddlode. The village is full of quaint and eccentric characters, both blue-blooded and below the salt, and Ellen is the subject of much speculation. Under the wing of Ophelia "Touchy Pheely" Gently, an impoverished local sculptor, Ellen goes to an Auction of Promises village fundraiser and wins a mysterious lot of three wishes. These have been donated by Jasper Belling, the incredibly gorgeous prodigal son of the local lord of the manor. Falling in love with a notorious hell-raiser is the last thing Ellen intended, and the convoluted scandals of the villagers put many obstacles in the way of the young lovers. Several ancient skeletons come rattling out of various cupboards before a no-holds-barred, loved-up finale.