Arielle Gardiner is desperate to find her fiance, Caleb, who has disappeared in Nicaragua, where men rushing to get their share of California gold cross the isthmus. She asks Stephen Lightenfield, a captain who sails there from Boston, for passage. When he refuses, because he believes the jungle is no place for a lady, she sneaks aboard his ship. He is furious, but fascinated by a woman who would leave everything behind to look for the man she loves. He can't guess that Arielle feels obligation rather than love for Caleb. When she slips off his ship in Nicaragua, he gives chase. Knowing she will not give up until she finds her fiance and with her providing exactly the excuse he needs to travel inland, he volunteers to go with her across the isthmus and into a world of ancient pyramids, new enemies, and tangled jungles where nothing is as it seems. Trust doesn't come cheaply. Loyalty can demand the greatest sacrifice any person can make. Earning both is hard, but having both betrayed can destroy a heart determined to remain true to long-held promises, even when the sweetest love might be lost forever beneath the tropical stars.