The Philippines, 1946
After being discharged from the Marines, John Buchanan takes a position as overseer for plantation owner Ignacio Saenz. The work is good, but the real draw for John is Mount Mayon, the active volcano looming in the island's horizon. Finally he has a chance to put his interrupted studies in vulcanology into practice.
Gregorio Delgado, the current overseer, isn't thrilled at being replaced. However, he can't ignore his attraction to John, who appears to be a kindred spirit. But John throws mixed signals-and more importantly, he pays too much attention to Margarita, one of Ignacio's marriageable daughters.
As John and Gregorio begin a tour of the haciendas, John discovers he has far more in common with his new acquaintance than he thought possible. Torn between honor and desire, John struggles to define who he is and what Gregorio could mean to him. Like the unpredictable volcano, equal parts beauty and danger, Gregorio becomes an obsession that could erupt at any minute and destroy them both.