Growing up as the son of a professed Methodist in a town where 90 percent of the population belongs to a cult-like religious community called the Alfeta, young Casey White has had his fill of organized religion and the tight grip it maintains on his small mountain town. In his freshman year, he begins dating Naomi Stryker, an exhilarating young woman from the Alfeta community, and they dream of the future they'll build together. But Naomi does her best to keep the trouble she's facing at home a secret; she is considered a sinner for dating outside of her faith community and for entering the church of another religion. Before they can consummate their love, however, they are caught by Naomi's outraged mother.
The next night, a hysterical Naomi calls and shares a horrifying story: to "save" her, she is being forced to marry a lawyer chosen by her church-and her future husband has already violently and physically claimed her against her will. Devastated, Casey and Naomi make one last, desperate bid at happiness-and then, Naomi disappears.
In the wake of her absence, Casey tries to build a new life. He fathers a child with his boss's daughter before being inducted into the navy. Soon, he's on his way to Cuba for a daring rescue mission of a foreign national with family ties to the president. Casey's new life is a whirlwind of adventure and danger-but he can't outrun his heartbreak.
When he is confronted with his past, will he have the strength to make the right choice?