One summer evening, shortly after high school graduation, Randal notices a pretty girl. Though he has never seen her before, she seems strangely familiar. The attraction is so immediate and strong it almost scares him. But there is one problem-Allyson Crawford comes from an old money, Catholic family. Randal comes from a middle-class, Mormon family. Despite their differences, their love is confirmed in an ancient spirit circle on Timpanogos Mountain. But when Randal makes a stupid mistake, he is mortified knowing he has lost Allyson forever.
After years of regret, Randal marries Maria Elena, a Spanish teacher and flamenco dancer. The marriage of short-lived passion deteriorates, while Randal makes his mark in the computer business. As the marriage falters, Randal begins an erotic affair with another woman he knows he can never love. Maria is killed in a tragic traffic accident while Randal is driving their car. Randal, guilt-ridden, dedicates his life to raising their three children.
Though he has heard of Allyson's death, the memories of Timpanogos and that perfect summer love haunt his mind. As the children grow and prepare to leave home, Karen Troy comes into his life. Now he must finally rid himself of his phantom love, Allyson. He has a plan, but it is only then when he discovers that life, like love, is full of unexpected moments.