Cyrene has spent her most of her life trading in the Louisiana Territory with her guardians. When she sees a man thrown into the Mississippi River, she fishes him out so she can sell his coat, but when she realizes he is alive she saves him and nurses him back to health. Rene, the man she saved, is a renowned womanizer. Cyrene, who feels she is imprisoned by her guardians because she is still a virgin, decides to seduce Rene to gain her freedom. He agrees, but Cyrene's guardians instead pass control of her to Rene.
Rene was originally from France, but rumor has it he was banished for seducing the king's mistress. He is very close to the governor's wife, so Cyrene is surprised when he agrees to accompany them on an illegal trading position. When they are ambushed on their return trip, they realize Rene turned them in. Later, they try to steal back their goods but Cyrene is caught. Rene sends her guardians away and makes her his mistress so they will avoid prosecution.
Cyrene hates being used as a mistress, and hates even more that she cares for Rene. She fears that he will tire of her as he has the many women before her. When people keep attacking him, she is concerned, but won't let Rene know how she feels. She then discovers that Rene is really a spy who is trying to prove the governor is doing illegal trading. She doesn't want to deal with it, so she runs away to rejoin her guardians.
As soon as she rejoins her guardians they are arrested and taken to trial. Cyrene is let go, but her guardians are sent back to jail. While Rene was prosecuting them, Cyrene realized that one of her guardians was really her father, and the man she thought was her father was really a cheat who had ruined Rene's brother while still in France. The man tries to kill Cyrene when she confronts him, but Rene and her guardians arrive in time to save her. The next day Rene asks her to marry him, and Cyrene must decide if her love for him is strong enough to make her leave her home and follow him to France.
This report prepared by Rachael High