Anyone can benefit from finding magic for Christmastide, it’s just a matter of believing.
Miss Clarissa Folgerton isn’t best pleased. She makes her living as a seamstress due to reduced circumstances, and it matters not that this is her busiest and most profitable time, for she has been summoned to northern Buckinghamshire. A dying earl wishes to see his illegitimate eight-year-old daughter—her niece. Years ago, he’d had an affair with her sister, and though her sister passed, Clarissa needs to see the girl’s future settled, if that means giving her up, she’ll have no choice, for she’s a spinster without means.
Colin Haversham—Viscount Lambert—is perhaps weeks away from becoming the new Earl of Biddleham, for his ailing father has summoned him to Biddleham Castle to spend this last Christmastide season together as well as take his apparent half-sister as his ward. Annoyed and not wishing to give up the life he’s already made for himself, what he needs is a false fiancée for the holidays. Above all, he doesn’t wish to be domesticated again. It hurt too much the last time.
As the whole Haversham family assembles at the castle, bitterness, anger, and jealousy comes out in the disparate group, but when Colin takes Clarissa aside and offers her a fake engagement with a hefty monetary settlement promised after Twelfth Night, the dynamic shifts. Over the course of the ill-advised houseparty, the unlikely pair find they have much in common beyond yearning for family, and when romance creeps in, they’ll need to decide if they have the courage to make love a reality despite battered hearts...
...and finding a diamond in the rough.