It is a warm summer's evening in 1895 at Rose Point Cottage on White Bear Lake. But Commodore Barnett's planned victory dinner has been spoilt - his team lost the yacht race and he just can't figure out why. Against his principles, he agrees to let his kitchen hand try to solve the problem.
Jens Harken is no ordinary odd-jobs man. Working "below stairs" to pay his way in the New World, he happens to be a master boat builder. Soon he is designing a yacht bound to win - the Lorna D. But he's not bargained for the enthusiasm of Barnett's daughter - the real Lorna.
Lorna, beautiful and determined, with lush auburn hair and a heart-shaped face, can't help falling for the charms of the blue-eyed, open-hearted Norwegian. Their love sets their worlds spinning. But it can only bring sorrow and shame to the family that holds Lorna so dear . . .