Jessica McCarthy's only Christmas wish is for a home of her own and children. All her friends are already married and have families. Believing that true love will never come her way, she settles for the man she sees as her last chance to realize her dream, handsome, charming, ne'er-do-well, Zachary Belk. Jessica's father, one of the most successful businessmen in 1860's Manhattan, warns her that he isn't a good prospect for a husband. Jessica seldom goes against his advice, but Zachary is the only man in New York who has courted her. His own firm is on the edge of bankruptcy, and he desperately needs a financial lifeline. Jessica believes she is only being realistic when she agrees to be Zachary's wife, but she soon finds out her carousing husband doesn't share her hopes for domestic life. The stock market crash of 1869 changes all their lives. Born into wealth, Jessica never had to ask the price of anything. Now the cost of simply putting food on the table is the first thing on her mind when she awakes every morning. Jessica must adapt drastically to being penniless. She calls upon her faith in God, her friends, both old and new, and her own determination, not only to survive, but to find peace, happiness, security, and a real love. This is the first of three novels in the 'Manhattan Stories' saga. It takes the reader from the opulent drawing rooms of Manhattan, New York, where fortunes are made and financial empires can collapse without warning, to the frontier cabins of Manhattan, Kansas, where everything, including true love, is possible. The second in the series is Pillsbury Crossing.