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In the approach to Christmas, Brooke Miller receives two pieces of bad news. A tailor at a high end New York City boutique, she who aspires to be a designer in her own right, she is told by her boss Nina that her designs are not cutting edge enough in Brooke's style leaning more toward the classics. And Ethan Reinhart, her architect boyfriend of six months, not only tells her at the last minute that he will not be accompanying her for Christmas to her hometown of Whispering Pines, PA to meet her parents, Walter and Donna Miller, as was the plan, but that he is breaking up with her in seeing that plan as moving far too fast for a relationship he does not truly foresee lasting the long term. While being heartbroken, Brooke may come to the realization that Ethan is correct in that she was more enamored with the thought of him than with he himself, especially as she is tired of being the only single at their family gatherings, not only with her parents still happy after all these years, but with her older sister Ashley having been with her husband Glen for fifteen years with an adolescent daughter, Tessa, of their own. At her friends Megan and Larry's Christmas party, Larry a talent agent, Brooke meets Joel Parker, one of Larry's clients who is up for what could be his breakthrough movie role in a small town, Capraesque story. As Joel is a big city boy through and through, Larry is able to convince both Brooke and Joel for Joel to accompany her to Whispering Pines for Christmas pretending to be Ethan, so that Brooke will still have her holiday date, and Joel can immerse himself in an acting role akin to that in the movie. The problems arising are associated to Joel's ability to carry off the ruse, especially as he is nothing like what Brooke has told her family about Ethan, and in his exuberance in that immersion into the role. But the bigger problem may be that the two of them start to fall for each other, something long term which is hindered by this ruse, and which may be further complicated if her family discovers the truth before Brooke and Joel are prepared to tell them.