Abandoned on the Isthmus of Panama by her young and reckless Virginian father and spurned by her mother’s aristocratic South American family, Romi grows into a stunning beauty and finds a way to triumph in spite of her illegitimacy. Fate brings to the optimistic, yet strangely lonely Romi the passionate love of Lord Eastleigh Hawke, the Earl of Frimhurst, an adventurer with the French for the grandest scheme of the century – an attempt to build a canal across Panama to join Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. No matter the great wealth that surrounds the happy Romi and her dashing English earl in Panama and Europe, corruption in France, violence in Panama and the daily death there of canal workers, engineers and ordinary people from malaria, yellow fever and other then mysterious epidemics affect them in deeply tragic and personal ways, bringing great suffering to the lovers. Then Romi discovers an unbearable truth about her husband and heartbreaking facts about her father. When clues in Eastleigh’s investigations into organized crime enslaving women and girls from Africa, including Egypt, lead the lovers to Washington, D. C., Romi’s life is seriously endangered and her heart shattered before she discovers her true destiny at last.