In 1752 Philadelphia, Alexandra Whittaker overhears the man who has raised her—and intends to marry her—admit to kidnapping her. She then uncovers a locket containing a portrait of herself as a child. Confused and frightened, she flees, heading for Williamsburg, Virginia, the place inscribed on the back of the locket. On her way out of Philadelphia, she stumbles across a bear and ends up in the river.
Sea Captain Derek Tremaine is guilt-ridden over the disappearance of a small girl left in his care as a youth. Always searching for her, he hears she may be alive and travels to Philadelphia where he discovers an unconscious young woman in the river. She bears a strong resemblance to the mother of the missing girl who has haunted his dreams. He is drawn to assist and protect her as she sails with him to Williamsburg in her hunt for answers about her life. But will the truth give them peace and allow their growing love for one another to blossom? Or will it drive them apart?