Clara Cartwright is not beautiful. She is small of stature and childlike in appearance. She is also nearly eighteen years of age. A fact that never fails to amaze the ladies of Firbranch, Montanna, the small town at the base of Mount Blackmore, where her family has lived for as long as Clara can remember. Resigned to the fact that her elder sister, Greta, can catch the eye of any boy she fancies, while Clara herself is often still mistaken as a schoolgirl, she hides from the people of the town. Rarely venturing out for social functions and finding solace in the pages of her many books. Each beautifully bound edition, a gift from her father. A tough and intelligent man, Clara’s father, Patrick Cartwright, works as a lapidary, collecting precious gems and selling them to the highest bidder. Although—in Clara’s mind—he is an adventurer. He excels at his chosen profession, traveling far and wide across the country, but always home for Christmas. Then comes the telegram. From far across the snow-covered Mount Blackmore, Clara’s father has sent word that the mountain pass has been snowed shut. He’s staying with a friend until the pass clears, but he will miss Christmas. Heartbroken at the news, Clara resolves to do anything she can to help bring her father back home in time for the Holidays. Even if that means enlisting the help of the deplorable local fur-trapper, Charles Donahue. Charles isn’t interested in guiding persistent little Clara over Mount Blackmore in the dead of winter, but when the stubborn young woman ventures out on her own, he is forced to follow. Reckless, irritating, and sarcastic, Charles can understand why Clara Cartwright has not yet found a husband. She has a spark of defiance and stubbornness that most men would find off-putting. Charles, however, sees it as a challenge. An attractive little challenge indeed.