Monday, December 17, 2012

"Against the Tide" by Elizabeth Camden

About the book (from the back cover): 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.

My take: Against the Tide isn't your average historical romance. Sure, the basic elements are there—handsome hero, palpable chemistry between the hero and heroine, interesting supporting characters—but there's so much more to the story.

A large portion of the plot centers around the fight to ban opium. Perhaps I've just forgotten my American history, but I had no idea how prevalent opium use was in the United States. Along with Lydia, I was horrified as I learned that many people (like Lydia) became addicted without ever purposefully taking opium because it was in popular over the counter medicines. And never before had I read a book that put me inside the head of an addict and helped me understand (at least on a small scale) the true scope of addiction.

Against the Tide is a completely engaging and intense novel. I did feel that the everything with the villain wrapped up a bit too conveniently, but overall I loved the book! 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read an excerpt.

About the author: Elizabeth Camden, author of The Lady of Bolton Hill and The Rose of Winslow Street, received a master's in history from University of Virginia and a master's in library science from Indiana University. She is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. Elizabeth is a member of ACFW and RWA and lives with her husband in Florida. Visit her website at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers through their book reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  Also, some of the links are "affilliate links." This means if you click the link and buy the product, I will receive a commission. 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."

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