Barbara Metzger weaves three enchanting tales into one with the story of the Carrolls, a large and loving family consisting of Bradford, earl of Carroll, his lovely wife Bess, and their three beautiful and spirited daughters, Joia, Hollice (Holly), and Meredyth (Merry), each of whom considers herself Papa's favorite. Bradford Carroll is a doting father with only one wish: to see his beloved daughters make suitable matches. He sets out to guarantee the futures of his girls, relying on his daughters' particular personalities to carry out his plans.
In the first tale, notorious rake Craighton Ellingsworth is the last man eldest daughter Joia thought would come to her aid, but she discovers him an unlikely ally in helping fend off her father's odious heir. In the second story, Holly, the bright and logical middle daughter, is forced to question what she wants out of life and love when faced with an unexpected suitor. In the final tale, spirited and hoydenish Merry finds herself charmed by a wounded war hero who seems to be her complete opposite. And before Christmas dawns, Bradford and Bess must confront a secret from Bradford's past, an incident that may save their fortunes but threatens to destroy their love.