Randolph Pierce, the new Earl of Falloden, needs money quickly or he will lose Grenfell Park, the debt-ridden home of his youth. The former earl was a spendthrift. To his surprise, a coal merchant tells him he has bought all of Randolph's debts and will forgive them as well as give him half of his considerable fortune if Randolph will marry his daughter. With much reluctance, Randolph accepts the coal merchant's terms. He will wed Eleanor Transome, a young woman he has never met. Eleanor loves her father dearly, but only agrees to marry her father's choice of husband because he is dying. In order for Eleanor's father to witness the marriage, they marry just before Christmas.
Both Randolph and Eleanor start their marriage thinking poorly of the other for agreeing to the arrangement. He assumes she only wants a title. She assumes he only wants money. Both would have rather married for love. They start their married life at Randolph's estate just as the Christmas season begins. As family and friends join them for seasonal festivities, Eleanor and Randolph slowly begin to learn more about one another. They have sexual relations because he needs an heir and she wants children. But as they come to find more to like about each other, they are both surprised to discover how much they enjoy making love. Their bodies are telling them what they cannot yet admit -- that they are falling in love.
This report prepared by L. Watson