Orphaned and penniless, Juliette Broussard is overjoyed when her godfather, Max Hollinsworth, plucks her from an isolated French convent. Then she discovers his plan for her to marry his shiftless son Tylor so that he can acquire her family's dilapidated sugar cane plantation, Belle Jarod. Juliette's dreams are of rebuilding her once-glorious home and she wants nothing to do with marriage--until she comes face-to-face with a blue-eyed temptation who unleashes the same passions that drove her mother, Louisiana's most beautiful and notorious prostitute, to destroy every man who loved her.
Chantz Boudreaux, Max's bastard first-born, has one desire: for his father to acknowledge him. But the moment he drags Juliette's naked body from the flood-driven Mississippi, he is swept into a liaison that unsettles his priorities and threatens his life. Soon their forbidden passion burns like a fever. As they struggle to revive Belle Jarod, betrayal and a deadly plague threaten everything they hold dear.