Singapore in the 1860s is exotic and yet terrifying for a penniless Englishwoman, alone and vulnerable after her mother's death. Too pretty to obtain a governess's job, Isabella Saunders accepts an offer from Singapore merchant Mr Lee to teach him English and live with his family. Two years later Bram Deagan arrives in Singapore, determined to make his fortune as a trader. Mr Lee sees a way to expand his business connections and persuades Isabella to marry Bram. Bravely, she sets sail for a new land and life. But the past casts a long shadow and together she and Bram face unexpected dangers. Will they find a way to achieve their dreams of a successful trading business? And will their marriage turn out to be more of a love match than they ever could have dreamed?