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.
Bane is back! When I reviewed The Lady of Bolton Hill I indicated I was far more interested in a secondary character by the name of Alexander Banebridge. I wanted to know more about him. What was his story? How had he become involved with Professor Van Bracken’s opium empire despite his young age? Now we have the answers to those questions in Elizabeth Camden’s newest release.
It’s been ten years since Bane became a Christian and fled from the Professor. Consumed with guilt for what he did in the past, his mission in life is to put a stop to the opium trade however he can. This means encouraging like-minded individuals to run for political office and sniffing out which vessels are smuggling the drug into Boston. His faith is solid, but his actions aren’t always legal or ethical. And, despite his best intentions, he now finds himself getting too close to an innocent translator in desperate need of money.
The circumstances in which Lydia grew up have created the woman she is today. She has little faith, longs only for security, and takes Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup for her headaches. What she doesn’t know is that this concoction contains the very opium that Bane hates. When Bane confronts her over it, she refuses to entertain the possibility that she has an addiction. For him, however, she makes an effort to stop using the drug and the result isn’t pretty.
Both Bane and Lydia have their imperfections. Bane’s actions aren’t always on the up and up. He also uses Lydia in his quest for revenge. Lydia is determined to have the man she wants, her actions making her seem wanton given the era. Each is intrigued enough by the other that they cannot stay away.
This isn’t a pretty romance novel. There are events that might make one pause as the reality of them sinks in. The Professor goes to extreme lengths to keep his opium networks open. The description of the drug withdrawal is detailed. Overall, however, this is a book that I had a hard time putting down. I finished it within 12 hours, despite having a busy weekend with other things to do. For me, that’s the mark of a great read.
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 01 October 2012
Page Count: 368
Thank you to Bethany House for my free copy of Against the Tide, which I received in exchange for an honest review.