Leonore Roncival has been the maitre of San Stefan, a small Caribbean fortress of privateers, since her father’s recent death. Intent on supporting the island’s inhabitants, she continues the family tradition of piracy, content never to marry until Jean Laffite attempts to raid her island and steals her chaste resolve instead. Laffite is a notorious pirate who controls a fleet of privateers stationed in Lake Barataria near New Orleans. At each encounter, the sexual tension rises until Leonore and Jean finally indulge their desires. The turbulent political atmosphere and Leonore’s double life in society as the respectable Mademoiselle de Rochambeau provide almost insurmountable obstacles as both must tend to their own constituents before they can permanently unite.
Sawyer bases her tale upon the legend of Jean Laffite and the events taking place from 1804 to 1815, weaving the romance among the political intrigue that the lovers must navigate. This provides ample opportunity for misunderstandings and reconciliations. The historical details sometimes appear to impede the compelling love story, but all seemingly unnecessary facts are neatly explained as the novel concludes after the Battle of New Orleans.
Readers who seek an equal amount of romance and history will find the insight on the state of the world in the early 1800s enjoyable.