Life has been anything but easy for twenty-year-old Nubia Monroe. After witnessing her parents’ execution at her tenth birthday party, Nubia hasn’t been the same. The lavish lifestyle that came with being the daughter of the notorious Apollo Monroe was snatched from under her feet, forcing her to become the foster child her evil aunt never wanted. After years of dealing with her uncle’s hand problem, Nubia goes from a plaything to a punching bag for her husband, Vincent. Believing that Vincent is the best thing to happen in her life since the death of her parents, Nubia suffers in silence until she meets Maine.
A notorious hustler by day and ruthless hustler by night, Jermaine “Maine” Emerson is as savage as they come. Born a child soldier in Sierra Leone, Maine was given the opportunity for a new life in America working as a hitta for Sampson, a distributor for the Solares Cartel and an infamous gangsta known for his heartless antics. Maine’s first mission: kill Apollo Monroe’s family, including his daughter. With a heart made of steel, Maine slaughters her family relentlessly, but there is something about ten-year-old Nubia that gives fifteen-year-old Maine pause. He spares her life, and the two never cross paths again until Maine catches Nubia being beaten on the street by her husband. Although he has everything he could ask for—money, cars, and his pick of women—Maine is drawn to the broken Nubia and the mystery she brings. As he tries to repair her broken spirit, he has no idea that he's responsible for it.
In the middle of Nubia and Maine's battle of the hearts, is Nubia’s best friend, Shahani. After losing the love of her life in a gunfight, the kept Shahani takes refuge on a pole, rebuilding her life one dance at a time. She meets the suave and charismatic Donovan, who takes her from dancing and introduces her to the world of pimping. While Donovan is focused on building his empire, Shahani has other dreams in mind, one of which is opening her own hair salon. She's content with building with Donovan until a chance encounter with Sampson leaves her sleeping with the enemy. Again.