In the opening epic novel of The Island of Sylt trilogy by bestselling author Ines Thorn, a young woman must choose between love and poverty, or thrilling adventure and tormented passion. Germany's North Sea Coast: The Island of Sylt, 1764 Life in the windswept village of Rantum in the North Sea is fraught with peril and hardship. Most families must rely on arranged marriage just to survive. But free-spirited Maren Luersen doesn't care for riches--her heart belongs to handsome but poor Thies Heinen. He may not have prospects or fortune to offer, but Maren knows their intense love can overcome any obstacle, and she is determined to be his bride. The wealthy and mysterious Captain Rune Boyse has other plans. He shocks Maren with a startling marriage proposal, and even though he can give her family a better life, her love for Thies is too powerful to deny. But when tragedy strikes, she finds herself in debt to the captain and must set sail with him on a dangerous whale hunt--with no promise of a safe return. If Maren survives, will life be the same back on shore? Or will her heart change course somewhere over the icy swells of the Arctic Sea?