Love in a foreign land. A decaying hacienda full of secrets. And a woman searching for the story of her life. A funeral and some family business--that's what Julia Bentley expects when she travels to the Philippines to bury her grandfather. She hopes for a brief adventure, a distraction from her most recent failed relationship and her loose-ends California life. Maybe even a chance to meet some distant relatives she's never known. Instead, she discovers a place where past and present, Spanish and Asian, primitive and civilized mingle in a melange as spicy and colorful as the paella her relatives dish up for special occasions. A place where some children hitch rides on cattle and others wield loaded guns. Where guerillas lurk in the jungle, and volcanoes and governments are threatened to blow. Where stories haunt her ancestral home--the grand but decaying Hacienda Esperanza, Plantation of Hope--and danger lurks behind every tree. Love and orchids bloom in places she never thought to look. How can a land so foreign, and so troubled, fill her with a strange peace? And would staying mean risking her life ...or finding it at last?