As a child, Lydia Pallas became all too familiar with uncertainty when it came to the future. Now, she's finally carved out a perfect life for herself, a life of stability and order with no changes, surprises, or chaos of any kind. She adores her apartment overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, and her skill with languages has landed her a secure position as a translator for the U.S. Navy. However, it is her talent for translation that brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane," a man who equally attracts and aggravates her. When Bane hires Lydia to translate a seemingly innocuous collection of European documents, she hesitantly agrees, only to discover she is in over her head.
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I have had this book since December but didn’t realize I hadn’t written the review yet! School has a way of being distracting – darn homework... Thankfully, this provided an excuse for me to read it again and it was as good the second time as it was the first.
Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden provides a lovely escape into late nineteenth century Boston that will help the reader dissolve a day into a trip to the past. The characters are deep and human, the villain is truly terrible and the suspense is thrilling.
While not a big fan of romance novels, I LOVE historical fiction. Thankfully, Against the Tide is full of historical details and does not overdo the romance between the characters. Yes, there is tension, but it is not the focus of the story! I especially enjoyed the villain, the complicated story he brought to the story and how he is connected to one of the characters.
This would be a great book to throw in your bag when going on a trip, to take to the beach or to read while relaxing in the sunshine – if we ever get spring!
I give this book 5 stars out of 5.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Meet Lydia Pallas. Orphaned as a young Greek immigrant child on the Boston wharves, Lydia grew up determined not to rely on anyone but herself. All grown up, Lydia, who is fluent in multiple languages, works for the Navy as a translator. When her neat and orderly (OCD) world is suddenly turned upside down, she makes a deal with mysterious Alexander Banebridge who has a driving need to shut down the opium trade.
Elizabeth Camden weaves a good, solid story pulling you in to the idiosyncrasies of her main characters. While the majority of the story was fairly predictable, I was not at all discouraged by that fact. I really did enjoy the story and the twists and turns that it had.
One thing that I absolutely loved was the opportunity to learn. Ms. Camden does a masterful job in teaching about the opium trade that was extremely prevalent and widely accepted by many physicians in the 1800s. I remember reading somewhere that opium was actually encouraged by most doctors at that time. So the great detail she went into on that subject, as well as the behind the scenes look at the Navy was very much appreciated by me.
All in all, a quite excellent book. I highly encourage you to branch out to this author.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This is the first book I have read by author Elizabeth Camden, so I am new to her writing style and touch. I would read more of her books because I did enjoy reading this one.
There were however, a few things I did not agree with from a Biblical standpoint. First off, is the character of Alexander Banebridge (Bane). He claims to be a Christian, following God's will for his life. He is trying to purge the stains of his involvement with the Opium Trade from his sinful past. I had hoped the author would have approached this issue because she set it up wonderfully. This is a very key issue to the Christian walk that many believers struggle with. For several years Bane has pursued his own personal crusade against the Opium Trade. This is his way to make up for the sin's of his past. The sad thing is though that No Where in the book does the author address this or bring Bane to a place of understanding God's grace! This was very disappionting to me. When Bane accepted Christ, his sinful past was wiped clean! He did not need to do anything to earn his salvation, it was freely given because of Christ's death on the cross. There could have easily been a wonderful lesson on God's grace represented through Bane, but unfortunately, the author missed this oppurtunity.
Another issue I have with Bane is that he plays on Lydia's heartstrings. He intentionally pursues a romantic relationship with Lydia... with the full intention of walking away from her in the end. As a Christian, he should not have been dallying with Lydia (who was unsaved). He should have been showing her Christ's love, not full-filling his own romantic desires. And again, NO where in the story does Bane apologize or address this issue! There is the issue of being "unequally yoked" to an unbeliever. Bane should not have been pursuing any romance with Lydia because she was not saved. Regardless of Lydia's spiritual walk, Bane was adamant he could not have a relationship with anyone because of his life on the run, constantly dodging danger and fear that caring for someone would become a liability. If this was the case, then Bane had no business playing around with Lydia's heart. This sort of behavior was wrong, and is not a Biblical approach to romance. This paints an incorrect picture of what a healthy, godly relationship looks like. And even worse, not once does the author address this as issue and resolve the problem for the characters. Bane's rejection of Lydia sends her into depression and had a powerful affect on her life. But no where is there resolution of how Bane treated her. I was very appalled at the romantic plot of this book because there was no Biblical value brought out Bane's behavior in the end.
One more thing that bothered me was Lydia's journey to salvation. There is one, rather pathetic attempt from Bane in the beginning of their friendship to share the Gospel message with Lydia. But throughout the pages of the story, there is little development of how she finds Christ. When she hits rock bottom during her treatment for opium addiction, she finds peace. I was hoping that the author would have expressed Lydia's desire for God and wrestling with the conviction on her heart more throughout the story. I had hoped that the author would have made me as the reader to feel Lydia's struggle to find God.
All in all, the research was wonderful. I think this was the one aspect of this story I liked the most. I loved the details I learned about life in America during the 1800's. The author put a lot of thought and effort into researching the opium trade, the US Navy, and describing the difficult conditions people of lower class had in daily life. The plot was intriguing, although I will admit, I felt as though it was a bit anti-climatic. I feel as though there was great potential for both Bane and Lydia to change and learn, while the reader also learns about God's grace, mercy and forgiveness. I was however more frustrated by the end of the book, because the emphasis was in all the wrong places.
I recieved this book from Bethany House Pulishing in exchange for my honest review of this book.
I simply loved Against the Tide! I would say it is in my top three books that I have loved this year! It was so powerfully written and left me on the edge of my seat (I turned off the Superbowl just so I could finish reading this book if that tells you anything!)! I'm so glad that Elizabeth decided to bring Bane back and further his story while bringing in Miss Lydia!
One of the things I liked I best about Against the Tide is that the story did not go as I had planned. I didn't think Lydia and Bane would fall in love so early in the story only to experience such heartbreak through much of the novel due to outside circumstances! I thought they would fall in love near the end after the bad guy went down! I'm glad I was wrong! Lydia goes through so many tough trials that my heart ached for her! Due to her worsening condition as the story progressed I thought she would be a damsel in distress who needed saving, but again I was wrong because she becomes a hero! There is an even another hero in the end (not Bane) that through me for a loop!
The research that the author did for this book is very informative as well! It was interesting to see the effects of opium as well as how it was given out to patients and smuggled in the country.
Overall, a fantastic read! This by far has been my favorite novel from Elizabeth Camden! I am looking forward to more of her books! This one I checked out from the library, but I definitely plan on buying this novel to add to my book collection!
If you are interested in reading the interview I had with Elizabeth, please check out my blog Crafty Booksheeps!
This review may contain spoilers. Read with caution!
This review is a difficult one for me to write. I'll come right out front and say that I had huge expectations for this latest novel of Elizabeth Camden after reading "The Rose of Winslow Street" which I hugely enjoyed. "Against the Tide" turned out to be a beast of a different color.
This novel is set in 1891 and is the story of twenty-something Greek native Lydia Pallas. After the calamitous death of Lydia's family at an early age she grows up in an orphanage/school reminiscent of something from "Jane Eyre". Now a grown woman Lydia is fastidious and focused making her a perfect fit for her job translating for a prominent Admiral at the Boston Navy Yard. Lydia's job is something she does with great care and pride, it is her great calling in life and the root of her security.
Into her perfectly ordered world walks Alexander Banebridge, or Bane, as he prefers. Bane is the literal embodiment of a Greek god walking amongst men and drifts in and out of Lydia's office mysteriously meeting with the Admiral and driving her nuts with his meddling ways. When Bane ends up needing a translator for top secret documents he hires Lydia but soon 'the plot thickens' as Lydia finds out what Bane is really up to and finds herself getting into more danger and chaos then she counted on. Soon she must confront a personal demon as she helps Bane to face his past and bring down the ruthless head of an opium trading ring.
Along the way a romance developers between Lydia and Bane that felt was rather uncomfortable. Bane makes it clear to Lydia from the onset that a) He is a Christian and has dedicated his life to God; b) He will not be sticking around; and, c) He cannot be involved in any relationship- ever. Lydia however, despite his enigmatic ways, falls for him, and when he does leave falls into a deep, life threatening depression. As a result of her desperation to prove herself to him she puts herself in ever increasing danger even as she falls deeper into a serious illness. Even though I liked Lydia at the beginning of the book I found her increasingly annoying as I read on because she does not behave in a way that seems true or consistent with the Lydia to which we are first introduced. As for Bane I didn't care for him from the beginning of the book, he felt unreachable as a character and proved to be wholly unpredictable- and I felt- unprincipled because of the way he dallys with Lydia. I found him frustrating as he at one moment is falling for Lydia and pursuing a relationship with her (while he can enjoy it) and then turning on her and 'switching off' the relationship when it suited him. There is nothing gallant in a 'hero' who acts so callously towards a woman. I really wanted to smack him! Overall, I really didn't like the romantic plot that runs throughout the story and found it weak and hair-pulling.
In the end I think that the plot/story had great potential but the puzzle pieces were cut so crazily that it had a difficult time coming together in a pretty picture. Something that really bothered me was a revelation in the authors notes at the end of the book. It seems that while "Winslow Street" was a stand alone book "Against the Tide" is something of a sequel to Camden's first book "The Lady of Bolton Hill"! As I hadn't at the time of finishing "Tide" read that first book I was quite frosted at learning that Bane's character was introduced there! It really explained a number of things. I have since gone back and read "Bolton Hill" and liked Bane in that book, I really believe that if I had read that first book first I would have liked him, or at least understood him, better in this third book.
Despite having issues with the characters in this book I still enjoyed Camden's writing style and the overarching plot. I will look eagerly forward to reading more of Elizabeth Camden's books at time goes on!
Overall rating: 2.5
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for a honest review and opinion of the product.
I loved Against the Tide...I've already reread it twice. I thought the plot and characters were very well developed. I was surprised to discover that Alex Bainbridge was a character from Elizabeth Camden's previous book The Lady of Bolton Hill. Naturally, I had to borrow that book from the local library in order to refresh my memory of how Alex was as a young man. The facts mentioned about the opium trade astounded me! I had known that opium was commonly used in children's cough medicines, but I hadn't realized the use of it was so prevalent. The illegal opium trade is comparable to the illegal marijuana trade between the US and Mexico today. Another aspect of the book that intrigued me was the mystery-like feel that was present during a majority of the book. I love a good suspense book. This book wasn't especially suspenseful but it added something to what would be just an average romantic story. I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review
This book is set in the late 1800's, and it follows the life of a young immigrant girl named Lydia in Boston, Massachusetts. Her work in the Navel yard allows her to use her skills with language as she meets a lot of different people. One person who is in need of her translations skills is a young man named Bane. Her relationship with Bane leads her to things she never expected to do with her life. The book is full of mystery, as you never really know what Bane is up to. It covers a problem from this time period that I was not familiar with; the mass use & illegal trade of opium. I read this book in one day. It was very hard to put down. It has everything you would expect from a historical fiction novel; suspense, a complicated love story, and characters that seem so real.
I received a copy of this book for free from Bethany House Publishers a division of Baker Publishing Group.
A epic love story, with characters who will capture your heart!
Bane is back, and better than ever! I don't think it's a secret that I absolutely loved Bane when I first met him in The Lady of Bolton Hill, so I could barely contain my excitement when I found that Bane would have his own book! And Against the Tide more than lived up to my frighteningly high expectations.
Lydia was the perfect heroine, and the perfect complement to Bane's larger-than-life, "glorious rascal" persona. The characters touched my heart and swept me away, Ms. Camden has created a pair of characters that I will remember LONG past the turning down of the final page, and that I plan on revisiting in the future. I loved Bane's passion and sense of duty, as well as his fierce protective streak. Lydia was so admirable, yet she had her own personal struggles, and she overcame so much! Lydia was a wonderfully rounded character!
Adventure abounded within Against the Tide 's pages! The characters and the fast moving plot kept me glued to the pages long past my bedtime. Well written and researched, Against the Tide is my favorite of Ms. Camden's books so far!
Overall, an enthralling read that left me hoping that this wasn't the last I would see of Bane and Lydia, maybe they could cameo in an upcoming book? Natural descriptions and a wonderfully fleshed out setting, really brought Lydia and Bane's world to life. An epic read, that I would highly recommend to others!
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review! Thank you!
Lydia was born in Europe, to a Greek father and a Turkish mom; the family’s “home” was a boat that constantly traveled to different places around the Mediterranean, in order to look for jobs and make a living. This extraordinary experience allowed the brilliant, little Lydia to learn several languages. At one point, the family comes to Boston, and when Lydia grows up, her linguistic ability allows her to get a prestigious job as a Translator for the Navy and a rudimentary, yet comfortable life when most women had very limited labor opportunities.
Although she has all the essentials, the building where Lydia lives is sold and, in order to keep her apartment, she has to come up with a lot of money in a pretty short time. Her boss, Admiral LaFontaine, knows about her predicament recommends Lydia to Bane, who has done some special jobs for the Admiral and is now in need of some translations for an investigation he is doing. Little by little, they start feeling for each other, but Bane’s past has a powerful restraint on him; he won’t allow himself to get involved with anyone, afraid of exposing them to danger.
When Bane asks Lydia to go beyond her limits, he will jeopardize everything Lydia has fought for and even stay absent when she desperately requires his assistance. However, Lydia sympathizes with his cause, and finds in herself a strength she didn’t know she had when her services are needed once more by Bane, whose investigation takes a turn for the worse, involving the Admiral’s family, and making Bane’s worst fears an awful truth.
Bane’s investigation and past has to do with the opium trade in Boston. While I won’t give details spoiling the story, I must say that Mrs. Camden takes time to end the story with an example of how an awful addiction to narcotics will affect lives at so many levels. In this note, I really appreciate the fact that the author ends the story with the same intensity present in the rest of the book; the conclusion is not rushed, and even leaves room open for further possibilities.
It took me a little to realize this was the continuation of “The Lady of Bolton Hill.” Because of this, the story became more enjoyable and gripping for me. Although “Against the Tide” can be followed as a story of its own, Bane’s character has a sort of double personality; he is sweet and cares for others, but the experiences he went through when he was younger and how he got away from it (included in the first book), make him cocky, belligerent and even rude sometimes. This rougher side of him is a result of his coping with the past, feeling responsible for his mistakes and wanting to make things right; he gets so focused on this goal that he forgets his present actions also affect the people around him. If someone reading “Against the Tide” has not read “The Lady of Bolton Hill,” this dichotomy might be confusing and his character might be taken as an unpleasant person.
Another fact that I enjoyed about this book is that Mrs. Camden is continuously reminding the reader that God is always present in our lives, whether it doesn’t seem like it, or we aren’t aware of it. Some of the characters she portrays are constantly learning about faith and growing in their relationship with Christ. For instance, someone (I won’t mention the character because I don’t want to give a lot of information about the story) mentions: “I learned that salvation is possible, even for a nasty sinner like me. I learned I had the freedom to make a choice about what sort of person I wanted to be. (page 98).” Even though this is a fictional story, it is refreshing to remember that God is a transformer of lives, as long as we allow Him to.
Something common to Elizabeth Camden’s books is that, at the end, she includes questions that invite the reader to ponder about the character, decisions, morals, habits and other situations described in the book. Even if these were not included, the story is so deep that it will be easy to be used in study groups, or even self-study. Moreover, the language is clean, and although there is a deep attraction between the main characters, the author does not use excessive descriptions that distract from the plot and focus on feelings.
Also, this is the second book by Elizabeth Camden that I’ve read. It is always a delight to read her. Her books are outstanding in that they are historically descriptive in a very realistic way. I would assume that most authors do their homework and research the context within which they are setting the story; Elizabeth Camden does it in such a way that History becomes alive and it actually taps something in the readers, making them wanting to know more about the period or situation described in the book. Few books awake that curiosity in me; Against the Tide is a highly recommendable book.
I can’t wait to read Mrs. Camden’s next one!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this influenced my opinion on the book or on the author.
For the first time in a long time, Lydia Pallas likes where she is. Her job as a translator for the U.S. Navy is secure and her cozy apartment is her haven. She enjoys the companionship of her coworkers and treats the occasional headache with a dose of Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup. When Alexander Banebridge enters the picture, Lydia's orderly life is suddenly a lot messier. From his annoying habit of rearranging items on her desk to his revelation that Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup contains opium, Bane brings disorder, intrigue and danger to Lydia's ways. Lydia and Bane find themselves falling for each other, but their relationship is doomed by Bane's goal of ending the opium trade and his commitment to bachelorhood. When an innocent boy is kidnapped, helping Bane will test Lydia's courage and strength, but if she survives, their love just might have a chance to flourish.
Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden was an intriguing read. I enjoyed the bantering between Bane and Lydia and appreciated Camden's creativity in her characters. Bane had a few quirky habits that made him refreshingly unique. I wouldn't consider this a suspense novel, but it did have some suspense that kept drawing me back to the story. I found the historical aspects of the story interesting. How sad that Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup not only existed and contained opium, but was marketed for teething babies. On a side note, I absolutely love the cover of this book It definitely captures the essence of the story. I recommend this book to fans of Christian historical romances.
I did not initially realize that Against the Tide revisits the Alexander Banebridge of Camden's previous novel, The Lady of Bolton Hill. I can't say if Banebridge appears in Camden's other novel, The Rose of Winslow Street, because I haven't read it. However, Against the Tide stands firmly as a single novel, complete with the necessary background information.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
This story has many twists to it and it keeps a person wondering what will happen next and will the heroine get out of it alive. Well written, keeps moving with plenty of suspense. One of the problems the main characters deal with are children kidnapped and held for years to control the parents into doing as the madman wants. The over all theme is the problem of opium and how it is used. It is quite eye opening. Well written as her first book was. This author writes a good story with a refreshing new story line.She is one I will keep in our church library.
I didn’t know what to expect when I went into reading this book. The description on the back speaks of a young woman who serves as a translator for the U.S. Navy and her encounter with a young man trying to end the opium trade. What it didn’t say was that this book takes place in 1876. This is not a time period I read much about and while I knew a little bit about the opium trade during this period, I had never read a novel set in the United States that talks about it (a couple of British themes novels I have read in the past mentioned it.) I was immediately fascinated with Lydia Pallas, a Greek orphan with a gift for languages. Her ability to survive in a male dominated world is written believably, even considering the era. As a writer myself, I have the unfortunate gifts of predicting the climax and ending of many novels. While some things about the end proved true to my prediction, the journey blew my expectations out of the water. The level of adventure, excitement and intrigue was unmatched within this genre and I was impressed with the real feel of the characters. All of the characters, including the protagonist felt realistic Spoiler Alert: One of the more impressive aspects of this book was the detailed descriptions of opium withdrawal. This author has a talent for accuracy as well as tactile description. I would highly recommend this book as a unique read in a genre often characterized by too much emotion and characterization without strong plot. This book is a definite exception I was not compensated for this review but I did receive a free copy of the book to review.
Bane! Bane! Bane! That was my refrain after reading The Lady of Bolton Hill. I wanted Bane's story. I'm sure he was meant to be only a secondary character but for me, he stole the show in that book.
Once a renowned and highly feared drug dealer, Bane was raised by a terrible man who takes young children as hostages in order to control their parents. No one knows that the Professor is an opiate dealer and that he taught Bane everything about the business, grooming him to take over one day.
Against the Tide is set 10 years after we've witnessed Bane receive Christ and begin his journey to freedom. He has dedicated his life to thwarting the Professor's drug operation. There are no close, personal relationships for fear that the Professor would kidnap whoever he thinks is meaningful to Bane in order to control him.
I love Bane's character. He's always fascinated me with his cunning and intellect; that doesn't change. His drive and determination are incredible. I love the way he manages to get under Lydia's tough exterior. The scenes dealing with Lydia's drug addiction are realistic. They were intense and such a big part of the story and her relationship with Bane. We learn much about how opium was used and how easy it was to become addicted to the substance without even knowing it.
The author does a great job of depicting poverty and wealth, evil and good. The story is well written and the dialogue exchanges between the characters is riveting. I highly recommend this book to fans of Historical fiction.
I received a review copy from Bethany House for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review, just my opinion of the book.
After a childhood rampant with uncertainty, Lydia Pallas has carved out a perfect life for herself. She spends her days within sight of the bustling Boston Harbor, where her skill with languages has landed her an enviable position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.
Lydia's talents bring her to the attention of Alexander Banebridge, a mysterious man in need of a translator. Driven by a campaign to end the opium trade, Bane is coolly analytical and relentless in his quest. He cannot afford to fall for Lydia and must fight the bittersweet love growing between them.
When Bane's enemies gain the upper hand, he is forced to turn to Lydia for help. Determined to prove her worth, Lydia soon discovers that carrying out Bane's mission will test her wits and her courage to the very limits.
This was my first book to read by author, Elizabeth Camden, and I was hooked right away as the heroine, Lydia Pallas, was left an orphan. Against The Tide is set with a historical setting, the Office of Naval Intelligence, where Lydia uses her skills and knowledge of several languages to assist with translating.
The story interjects humor as Lydia, who prefers order, is challenged by those characters who enjoy teasing her. Lydia always keeps her desk in particular order, eats the same foods, and her predictictable nature makes it a challenge when she is asked to help Alexander Banebridge stop the opium trade.
There is a dark side to the story with a very evil Professor and his control of so many lives. The mystery and continuing relationship between Lydia and Alexander give the story action plus excitement. I would definitely recommend this book. The writing and imagery are well-done. I would read more of Elizabeth Camden's novels as I found her dialogue and the plots keep my interest.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Books as part of their blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
True-to-Life Portrayals to Keep the Pages Turning!
Date:December 16, 2012
I was very eager to dive into this book, given my appreciation for Bane's characterization from The Lady of Bolton Hill. Elizabeth lets enough time pass that his character is solidified in a believable way you never once question. Clearly, though, Bane is still haunted by the crimes of his past (namely helping to smuggle opium unto the country), which threatens to interfere with his future happiness, and the happiness of Lydia.
Lydia has enough quirks of her own to make her real. In fact, I know someone just like her at work, and I like to "mess" around with things on her desk the same way Bane does with Lydia....just to throw her Type-A, slightly OCD-self off. Lydia's cravings of control and order and security are well-motivated, given her loss of family at such a young age. It makes her the perfect romantic interest for a man who can never settle down for fear of his nemesis using anyone he loves for ill.
Perhaps the aspect of Elizabeth's novel that I was most impressed with was her extensive research into opium and the resulting symptoms of dependence and withdrawal. This is an area that I am most familiar with, being a licensed mental health professional, and Elizabeth's portrayal of this very real problem many face today was very true to life.
I think I read this book in about 6 hours, give or take. I took a Saturday and just lollygagged, and this book was a most worthy companion to invest time in!
Once again, Elizabeth Camden has succeeded at spinning a tale that held me spellbound, with a character who captured my heart from the first chapter. Lydia’s life unfolds with heart-breaking reality, and I found myself instantly sympathetic to her history of losing her family and being forced to live in an orphanage. I loved Lydia’s pluck and determination to make something more of her life, and found it interesting how the author wove together a reasonable explanation for Lydia’s command of many languages and her rise to an important position as a translator. I was equally glad to become further acquainted with the character of Bane, who appeared in the author’s first book, The Lady of Bolton Hill. The interactions between Bane and Lydia resulted in many enjoyable moments as they bantered back and forth with sharp wit, and I felt that the relationship unfolded between them with just the right touch of romance. The creepy professor again made for a fascinating villain, as in the first book he appeared in, with his technique of kidnapping children to ensure the cooperation of their parents to further his opium trade. The suspense that unfolds between Lydia, Bane, and the professor had me fighting against the urge to flip to the end of the book to see how it all turned out, but I managed to refrain and so enjoyed how everything unfolded. And who knew that opium was a significant ingredient in tonics given to children in orphanages? I love learning new historical details like that and thought it made an intriguing addition to the plot of the novel!
The author has truly won a place on my list of authors to watch, and I look forward to more novels from her talented pen. I highly recommend this book and award it 5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I had such high hopes for this book, I really did try hard to finish, but the pace and characters were missing something. I thought the the author had a very creative concept but needed so much more. I found it hard to relate with Bane, described as a perfect "Adonis" more beautiful than a woman..ok..really..this just seemed quite ridiculous. Lydia dislikes Bane at first, then quickly both fall in love. It would have been nice to have a slower more realistic relationship drawn out. There was lot of historical facts, but the drama, suspense/mystery just didn't flow from chapter to chapter for me. It also lacked the Word of God...He's mentioned, but in the background not in the forefront as I'd like. The book is overall clean, ok, best read by a pre-teen or young adult that isn't looking for accuracy, bored and want to pass the time would be best suitable for.
In the novel, Against the Tide, by Elizabeth Camden, the reader is drawn deep into mystery through intriguing, well developed, characters. This is the first novel I have read by Elizabeth Camden. From the onslaught, I could tell that the author was very intelligent and well educated. Her use of words, many which I have not seen since taking my SATs, propelled me to think a little more as I began to read the story. I have to admit that the book took me a little bit to get into. However, after Camden had developed a few of the characters and plot, it was not difficult to be captivated by the novel. The main character, Lydia, immediately wins your sympathy. As an orphan, she is left struggling to make her way in the world. She rises to a level of security through her own merit and hard work. You follow Lydia on a journey where those things she’s worked hardest to achieve are quickly snatched away, through innocently aiding Bane, the book’s other main character, on a secret mission. Not only has she lost much of her dignity, but Lydia battles losing the one who is winning her heart. As the plot thickens, we find Lydia willing to place herself in grave danger, to prove to Bane that she is worthy of him. Will she survive? There is more to this novel than meets the eye. I really do not like to give away the entire story, so instead I will encourage you to find a copy and read about it yourself. Don’t be discouraged by the first few chapters, this book is definitely worth reading. I was given a copy of this book to review by Bethany House Publishers. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.
Lydia Pallas is alone. Her parents died when she was young, and she’s had to fend for herself ever since. Her ability as a translator lands her a job with the United States Navy, a position generally held by men in 1891. Lydia is thankful; this post offers her a slightly better lifestyle than Boston’s female working class.
At the Naval office, Lydia and her co-workers see Alexander Banebridge as an enigma. He visits their supervisor, Admiral Eric Fontaine, on occasion, but no one knows why. Cloaked in mystery and importance, Banebridge floats in and out, seldom exchanging a word with the office staff. He too, is alone in the world, having been separated from his family under unusual circumstances when he was a boy.
Banebridge asks Lydia to help him with several translating projects. She agrees, as she is saving to buy her apartment. At first, Banebridge gets on her nerves. He seems too perfect, in looks, demeanor, and values. She warms to him, despite efforts to keep her distance. Bane’s project eventually puts Lydia in danger, not because he wishes her harm, but because he needs someone he can trust. His philosophy demands that he keep people at arm’s length. However, many things change, much to their mutual surprise, throughout this deceptive and dangerous journey.
Since I haven’t read any of Ms. Camden’s books, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Against the Tide offered engaging characters and one of those edge-of-your-seat plots that makes you want to keep reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and am impressed by Camden’s rich story telling ability. She creates realistic and relatable characters, the kind that readers care about. I look forward to checking out Ms. Camden’s other books.
I first discovered Elizabeth Camden, who majors in historical Christian fiction, through her first book, "The Lady of Bolton Hill". I fell immediately in love with her writing style, and her fresh characters, so when I had the opportunity to receive her third book free to review, I jumped on it!
The pros: As I read this book, I was struck by the historical depth and accuracy, as well as the consistency that Camden shows throughout the changing settings in her book. I have read too many stories where the author can't keep their facts (dates, ages, events, etc...) straight, so this was very refreshing. Also, the story itself was riveting! Camden, throws in several plot twists, some, I could see coming, but several surprised me and kept me turning the pages. I especially loved that the story did not drag. Many books, even good ones, have 'dead spots' in them, which I generally skim through to get to the action. This plot however, was so cleverly planned, that when I most expected to be coming upon a lull, I would find a twist instead, which definitely kept the story hopping. And, since this is a Christian novel, there are no dirty words, or bad scenes, which is a plus.
The Cons: As much as I love a good mystery and romance, I prefer to read books that leave me longing to be a better Christian, and this book just didn't do that for me. The hero, is a Christian, and the heroine is not, but instead of guarding his heart, the hero jumps right into love with the girl, which was disappointing to me. Also, I was saddened to find that the Gospel is not mentioned in the story. It appears at the end that the heroine is following Christ, but there is no mention of her making a specific decision to accept Christ as her Savior, which I found anti-climactic.
In conclusion: If you are looking for a clean, adventurous, well-written story to pass some time, you cannot go wrong with "Against the Tide". If, however, you are seeking a spiritually edifying story line that will leave you thirsting for more of Jesus, you can take or leave this book.