When her mother passed away, seven-year-old Sara Jane Talbot knew things would never be the same—and she was right. Her father's dark moods got darker. The physical and emotional abuse he administered got worse. And life in rural Mallard, Texas quickly became almost unbearable—except when she was with her best friends, Precious and Joyce Ann. They made her feel special, like she finally belonged somewhere. But one night Precious and Joyce Ann robbed a local Dairy Queen—with Sara Jane as an unwitting accomplice. And the good times were over.
Now, after five long years in the Gatesview Correctional Facility for Women, Sara Jane is ready to turn her life around. She has a cosmetology license (earned in prison), a new name (Serena St. James), and a dream. Serena sees her first post-prison job—as a shampoo girl at an upscale Dallas salon—as an important step toward a successful career. And when a world-famous R&B singer hires Serena as her personal stylist, it seems like her wishes are finally going to come true.
But Serena cannot escape the memories of her miserable North Texas childhood, living in constant fear that her new life will be somehow be tainted by the terrible secrets of her old one. And her fears are not unfounded—for someone who knows all about the nightmares of her past will stop at nothing to use them against her….