AGAINST THE TIDE by Elizabeth Camden




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.

Just as Bane’s charm begins to win her over, Lydia learns he is driven by a secret campaign against some of the most dangerous criminals on the East Coast, compelled by his faith and his past. Bane forbids any involvement on Lydia’s part, but when the criminals gain the upper hand, it is Lydia on whom he must depend.


Setting: Late 19th century America

Romantic Historical Fiction

 Heat level 1

Star Rating 4


I thoroughly enjoyed this wonder story. It starts out when Lydia is nine years old and going to school for the first time. Lydia is an immigrant with a Greek father and a Turkish mother. After Lydia loses her family when their boat sinks while she is at school, she spends the next nine years in an orphanage. Shortly after leaving the orphanage, Lydia finds a position as an interpreter for the Navy.

While working for Admiral Fontaine, she meets Alexander Banebridge, and he asks her to do some translations for him. Lydia is thrilled because she needs money to buy her apartment. The attraction between her and Bane is strong, and Lydia soon realizes she’s in love with him.

Even though Bane has fallen in love with Lydia, he will not allow himself to be in a relationship with her. Bane must protect Lydia from the professor. The professor kidnapped Bane when he was six years old and raised him to help him with his illegal opium smuggling operation. When Bane finds God as a young man, he turns away from the professor and vows to bring his illegal opium smuggling to an end. He would go after Lydia if he knew Bane loved her.

This is a story of faith, love and courage. Lydia has to fight to overcome an addiction to opium that she developed as a child in the orphanage. Ms. Camden paints a vivid picture of what Lydia went through to vanquish her dependency on opium. I felt her pain and humiliation and sensed the courage it took for her to win her battle. Bane has to bring the professor down before they can find their Happily Ever After. It’s a long and dangerous path they have to follow, but their strong faith and determination gives them the strength to persevere. I highly recommend this book.


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