Englishwoman Jeannie Naughton never intends to run away from life, but in 1860 a woman’s reputation is everything. A scandal not of her own making forces her to flee to an island in the Pacific Northwest. The island, home to Coast Salish people and Hawaiians working for the Hudson’s Bay Company, is jointly occupied by British and American military forces. Jeannie settles into life at English Camp where she meets American Jonas Breed. As a youth he was captured and held as a slave—a mist-chi-mas—by the Haida. Jeannie forms a passionate, hidden liaison with Breed. Jeannie and Breed plan to run away and marry. News that Breed has been killed in a fight with a dangerous smuggler causes Jeannie to take refuge with Andrew Pierce, an acquaintance of Breed’s. She marries Pierce, then moves to Seattle. Twenty years later, recently widowed, Jeannie receives a note that Breed may be alive. Jeannie now embarks on a journey to find Breed, unaware she is stirring up an old and dangerous struggle of power and revenge.