Melissa Mitchell is going to be alone at the holidays, at least until her new friend Terri Coleman takes pity and invites her to the family home in rural North Carolina for an old-fashioned family Christmas. It sounds wonderful, and to top it all off, Terri has a single and very eligible brother, Richmond police detective Joe Coleman.
Then Terri drops her bomb shell: the Coleman family is old-fashioned in more ways that one, and Terri has recently fallen afoul of her brother, who took care of the situation in the time-honored way. Could it happen again? There are issues unresolved between Terri and her brother, and Terri feels she needs to warn Melissa that no-nonsense Joe just might resort to spanking if he thought the situation warranted it. And that’s not all: Terri’s other brother and his wife are in a domestic discipline relationship, and are very open about it.
As irritated as Melissa is that Terri has dragged her into family drama, Melissa also has a secret of her own: she’s been fascinated with tales of old-fashioned over-the-knee-discipline forever, and the idea that that could occur in real life seems too much to believe. At first, the holiday celebration couldn’t be better. Melissa and Joe feel an instant attraction, fueled by the fact that Joe quickly figures out that Melissa’s interest in what had recently happened to Terri goes beyond mere concern for her friend.
But Melissa has another secret, a dark terrifying reality from her past. Just when she feels the most safe, through an innocent mistake, the secret is revealed endangering everyone in the family. And Joe will do anything to protect his family….