Leah Turner's father has been killed in an accident at the laundry, and it falls to her to become sole provider for her little sister. But pawning the few belongings she has left will only keep the rent collector at bay for a few weeks. Out of the blue Charlie Willcox, the local pawnbroker, offers her a deal. His invalid brother Jonah needs a wife. The idea of a marriage of convenience doesn't please Leah, but she finds Jonah agreeable enough and moving with him to the pretty hamlet of Ellindale may be the only chance of a better life. But other people have plans for the remote Pennine valley, and the two sisters find themselves facing danger in their new life with Jonah.