From Publishers Weekly
Slater MacKenzie, an American spy from Louisiana, works with Cuban rebels in the 1850s to overthrow Spanish rule. Slater is abducted and tortured by local authorities--with the support of his own father-in-law, Ricardo Salazar, who opposed Slater's marriage to his daughter Francesca. Slater's captors taunt him with the tale of Francesca's death; when Slater escapes back to the States, Francesca is told that he has deserted her and fake divorce papers are produced by Salazar. But Slater returns to Havana to track two missing American agents and encounters Francesca at a party. Since the lovers are much too annoyed with each other to trade stories for at least a couple of hundred pages, Slater's scheme to kidnap his wife and exchange her for the spies guarantees some I-may-lust-after-you-but-that-doesn't-mean-I-like-you scenes before love finally conquers all. Smith's ( Arizona Caress ) tale is inadequately researched (Catholic Francesca is ostensibly to remarry without an annulment) and poorly thought out: Southerners, the author explains, want Cuba in the U.S. as a slave state; so is our Louisiana-born hero pro-slavery or just amoral?