Rachel Grunwald, a beautiful young woman from Laguna Beach, California, is afflicted with a flaw buried deep within her subconscious from an incident that occurred at the age of ten. As an adult, compensating for those lost years means living on the edge and enjoying life to its fullest. But Rachel continues to be driven toward violent and compulsive acts by her childhood trauma.
After a drunken liaison with her brother-in-law, Scott Sanderson, that results in a new life, Rachel flees to Italy where she marries the son of a Mafia boss. But the deaths of a gigolo in Venice, her mother-in-law, and a traitorous priest soon follow. Could Rachel possibly be connected with the three suspicious deaths?
A battered and disillusioned U.S. Navy veteran, Scott tries to recapture time lost through risky business ventures and a deadly encounter with the mob. He turned from his religious faith during the horrors of war, and his marriage to Rachel's sister Rebecca-a devout Catholic-ended in tragedy. But when Rachel needs Scott's help, he cannot refuse the mother of his son. The former lovers reunite and find comfort in each other's arms once again. But will their union save them, or destroy both of their lives?