Laura Applegate Sanders' world is turned upside down when
Mitch Riley appears on her doorstep with the news her
estranged father is about to undergo heart bypass surgery.
For the past few years, Mitch has been her father's partner
in the jewelry business Laura once dreamed of sharing until
her father disowned her when she married Doug Sanders, an
artist with no money and few prospects.
Mitch loves and respects Laura's father as he
never could his own. His dad was a drunkard and a gambler
who died leaving his wife and two sons destitute when Mitch
was fourteen. Knowing how much it would mean to Ray
Applegate to see his daughter again, Mitch takes it upon
himself to travel to Ohio to ask Laura to come home. To his
surprise, he learns she is a widow with a four-year-old
Mitch is prepared to dislike Ray's rebellious
daughter because of the pain she caused Ray. But when he
meets her, her self-confidence and the love she feels for
her daughter throw him for a loop. In self-defense he
clings to the image of Laura that Ray has fostered, that of
an irrepressible, spoiled rich girl.
After getting to know Laura, Mitch finds her
irresistible and their passion takes their relationship to
a new level. But Mitch has been betrayed in the past. His
lack of trust in Laura causes him to back away to the old
life that has left him alone. Soul-searching leads him back
to Ohio to admit to Laura his life won't be a happy one
until she is in it permanently. A few days before Christmas
he returns to Laura's doorstep to give her a ring he
designed especially for her. Laura accepts his proposal,
eager to find happily-ever-after with him.