Right before Tasya Flynn breaks into ex-cat burglar and millionaire Ian MacPherson's California mansion, he comes close to ending his own life out of a sense of hopelessness in Mulvany's (Aquamarine, etc.) unwieldy tale of romantic suspense. But Ian sees in Tasya, who clearly possesses latent talent for capers, a chance to take revenge on Alex Farrell, who left him for dead during their theft 30 years earlier of the Brazilian Milagre, "an enormous tourmaline, half again the size of a man's fist and a rich ruby red." Though Ian is a generation older than Tasya and, thanks to Alex, is confined to a wheelchair, they fight a growing attraction. Ian trains Tasya to exact his revenge and slowly learns of her horrific past with an abusive lover named Richard, whom she murdered to escape—or so she thinks. When Tasya learns that she can use Milagre for time travel (Milagre means "miracle" in Portuguese), she goes back to the time of the original theft and ends up falling in love with Ian's younger self even more deeply than with the present-day Ian.