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Austin-based occupational therapist Erin Oliver has had to hold her life and that of her two adolescent daughters, Peyton and Carter, together since the death of her husband Jake three years ago, the Christmas season a more difficult time. With her mother Pamela Haggerty going away for Christmas this year with her boyfriend Phil, Erin, on Peyton and Carter's urging, reluctantly accepts her father Gary Biros' invitation to spend Christmas with him and his wife, Farrah, at their ranch in Ellington a couple of hours away. That reluctance is due to Erin never having forgiven her father for not being there for her or her mother when she was growing up, Gary having chosen his role as breadwinner over being a present father or husband. Erin accepts the invitation as she does not want to deny Peyton and Carter a meaningful relationship with their "Grandy" if he has turned over a new leaf. In Ellington, Erin meets restaurateur Mateo Verdosa, who has been coined the Tamale King by restaurant critics. A friendship and burgeoning romance forms between Erin and Mateo. But as Erin still has difficulty in forgiving her father despite he having bonded with Peyton and Carter on this vacation, Erin potentially sees in workaholic Mateo another version of her father on who she, Peyton and Carter may not be able to count in the long run.