In late October 1870 Arabella Duncan is suddenly a widow and her estranged husband has left her in dire financial straits. If she cannot sort out her inheritance and do it quickly, she may be reduced to walking the streets of San Francisco.
Her late husband’s speculations in Comstock mining shares are failures so she has no choice but to approach James Sterling, his personal secretary, and hope that he will be willing to help her recover her inheritance. James is strongly attracted to the voluptuous Arabella and agrees to help but only if she is willing to submit to the iron discipline needed.
Arabella is drawn to James as he sustains her in her positive approach to resolving her finances and her attitudes about social expectations. Arabella is a strong, independent woman and refuses to conform to the norms of San Francisco society.
James supports her but Arabella’s tongue gets her in trouble and she has no course except to agree to James method of discipline – a good spanking. Arabella learns the working of the San Francisco Mining Exchange while James discovers the intricacies of mining and milling on the Comstock Lode in Nevada. Their attraction flowers and as 1871 opens, they find themselves in the middle of the battle to control the Crown Point mine. Can they use their wits and burgeoning love to save Arabella from ruin? Can Arabella accept the discipline needed to resolve her difficult financial situation?