Journalism graduate Iris Harding receives a letter from a stranger – Greta Winterbottom – asking her to do some research. Greta is terminally ill and no longer able to fulfill the last wish of her deceased father, John: to track down his first love. Greta asks Iris to keep her investigation a secret; only the two of them must know about it.
John’s last wife – Maura - and her son must not find out. From the start, Maura and her fiancé Timothy make Iris feel anything but welcome. Patrick’s reaction is not much better, plus he also appears to be in trouble with the law.
Iris has no idea that her first meeting with Greta will also be her last. The very next day, Greta succumbs to her serious illness. Iris, however, decides to embark on finding the love of John’s life. Even if the villagers are willing to help, the search turns out to be harder than expected.
When Iris finds Greta’s dog on the beach, she also bumps into Patrick again. She soon realizes that behind his cool facade there is actually a very special, likable person. Patrick runs the local radio station and is also investigating an environmental scandal. New oil rigs are to be set up just off Cornwall’s coast, and Patrick will try to fight this using all the means available to him. The oil company, on the other hand, does everything possible to scare off Patrick and his staff at the radio station.
To prevent further reprisals, Patrick now broadcasts from a boat beyond the three-mile limit and Iris gets the chance to present a show for the first time.
Although Iris lives in London with her boyfriend Marc, she begins to fall in love with Patrick. When one of John Winterbottom’s old acquaintances helps Iris find out who his secret first love was, not only are her emotions turned upside down, but fate also takes its course.