Alvy Lexington has bought himself the best Christmas present in the world. True, the draughty flat on a dingy stretch of the Thames has none of the welcoming holiday warmth of his family’s West London townhouse. That is the entire point! No one who knows him by his given name will ever set foot here. When his old friend Laura Jacobs needs somewhere to spend the holidays, Alvy knows he should keep his distance, but… But Laura makes him do incautious things. Like offering her a job—since when did he manage a printing press?—and inviting her to a certain Christmas Eve masquerade.

Laura knows the lush London of the Lexingtons is only a temporary escape from her grey days as a governess. But she is determined to enjoy this glittering winter wonderland while it lasts, especially her dance with an angel of a man at the masquerade. Why, his French chevalier costume practically glows! While she daydreams about her white knight, an unexpected business opportunity with Alvy makes her hopeful of a new independent life. But first, she is going to have to come to a real understanding with her old friend.