Dr. Libby Granger, professor of British Lit, is flattered by the attentions of the new graduate assistant, Bruce Kimball. Not only is Bruce young and virile, he's a decorated veteran, a former Navy SEAL. However, four months into their relationship, the inconsistencies in Bruce's war stories prompt Libby to consult with the authentication service VeriSEAL, where she is stunned to discover that Bruce Kimball of SEAL Class 232 perished in a helicopter crash three years ago. Who, then, is the man claiming to be Bruce Kimball? Libby must entrust her fate to the appealing VeriSEAL director, Lt. Cmdr. Todd Lawson. As Todd deepens his investigation, he discovers Bruce's true name; he is Mark Earnest, a BUDs/SEAL drop-out, also from Class 232. Earnest has devised an elaborate charade to exact vengeance on the man he believes responsible for his failure, Libby's brother, Commander Daren Granger. Todd tries to warn Libby via cellphone, but it's too late. Mark Earnest has her in his clutches at the top of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, and he has no intention of letting her go.