This story is about the challenges of finding love during the social and political unrest of Reconstruction. This story follows Zahra Lafayette, a curvacious caramel beauty who used to be a spy for the Union. During the Civil War she is known as "the Butterfly" and was responsible for helping many men get to safety including Archer Le Veq. Although Zahra has put the incident behind her, Archer is still politically motivated and cannot forget her.
It is the height of Reconstruction, and Archer has the suspicion that the southern states are not being completely honest in their promises to move forward as a nation united. With the rights of freed Blacks are at stake, Archer needs to find out what is going on in the underground world of New Orleans and employs Zahra as a spy to pose as a New Orleans Madam. That's right, Zahra poses as a beautiful madam at one of New Orleans premiere brothels where Archer frequents for undercover meetings with fellow party members. The only problem is the more time the two spend together, the more they want each other.
Archer accepts that he needs Zahra's help but he is not prepared for the uncontrollable desire that builds for this mysterious woman. While Zahra finds Archer equally as intriguing, she wouldn't dare mix business with pleasure, and especially not with a debauched gentleman like Archer. Or so she thinks. As time passes, the two learn more and more about each other. Archer discovers that Zahra is not the low class heartless woman he thought while Zahra discovers Archer is more responsible than she first thought him. But the world of politics in New Orleans is not as stable as it seems and no one is really who they seem to be. An attack is on the horizon and just when Zahra thinks they can handle what comes their way, she realizes that she is falling for Archer, a man she is still unsure if she can trust.
Best part of story, including ending:
I really loved that this story explored a good amount of historical facts while weaving in the romance. Jenkins really brought this time in history to life.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene is when Archer realizes he has been rescued by a woman. It is such a great scene because it shows how women are capable of anything. It was empowering.
Opinion about the main character:
I loved that Zahra was an intelligent woman but also beautiful. She had everything a heroine should have, compassion, beauty, skill, wit and humor. I loved seeing how vulnerable Archer made her.