Against The Tide

Against the Tide
Elizabeth Camden
Bethany house Publishers
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.

I was interested in this book because of The Lady of Bolton Hill, Ms. Camden’s first novel. Alexander Bainbridge was definitely my favorite character in that, so when I found out that he was the hero of Against the Tide, I was excited :) I really, really, liked Against the Tide- much more than The Lady of Bolton Hill. Not only did Bane interest me, but I found myself really liking Lydia, too. She was, I guess, a pretty "modern" Victorian woman, as she had a job as a translator for the US Navy. However, having this job in a society where most women married was not really portrayed as a feministic protest: it was for pure necessity. I really appreciated that Lydia was portrayed as strong woman without relying on fighting for Woman’s rights or something like that. I also actually really liked her relationships with her colleagues very much; they basically treated Lydia like a sister, with everything from teasing to protectiveness.

I also really liked her relationship with Bane- for some reason it really cracked me up whenever he’d rearrange her ink bottles, because it would drive her CRAZY. There were a couple more kisses than I would have liked, and it’s pretty obvious that Bane- who’s a Christian- falls in love pretty early with Lydia, who isn’t. Of course, Lydia does become a Christian in the end, but her faith (or lack of one) was never seen as the main deterrent in their relationship or Bane's reason for holding her at arm’s length. There were also a few flaws in each character that were not really addressed. That seems like an odd way of putting something, and I admit I find it a little hard to explain. Sometimes the characters did a few things that I don't think were right, but there was not any conviction about it. It didn't happen often (For Bane, for example, it was a tendency toward manipulation), but there were still a few times I wished the author had gone into the pitfalls of that a little more.

Anyway, the plot was great and original. It didn’t lag at all anywhere, and I pretty much read it in one sitting, which is saying a lot because it wasn’t a particularly short book!

Objectionable content: There were a few kisses. Bane and Lydia are crusading against the opium trade, so there is "drug" content; mainly the symptoms of opium addiction.

Rating: 9


  1. HAYDEN,

    I would like to request that you review an ARC of my soon to be published historical romance novel SARAH QUANLI. It's written under my pen name of Jackson Keene and will be published (expected out in three weeks) by (Note: I have a standard publishing contract, and the novel is NOT self-published. Publisher THB has been in business for over a decade and currently has a list of over 60 active authors.)

    SARAH QUANLI will be published both as a paperback and Ebook. It will be available through, Kindle,, Nook, Sony Reader, iPad/iPhone/iBook, publisher, and various independent bookstores around the country.

    I am interested in doing an Author Interview and/or Guest Post. I also welcome Blog Tour support, if you offer it!


    The beautiful yet deceitful Rossalyn McDonald had twisted the knife deep in David Adam MacDougall’s big heart. He was extraordinarily handsome: chiseled muscles, kindly soul, thoughtful personality, and totally faithful. Any other lass in his Scottish Highlands village would have cheated her own sister to become his bride.

    Now David’s entire being felt broken into a thousand pieces. Now he only wanted to reach the faraway city of Beiping China where he was called to be a missionary. But before arriving in that mysterious mistress of the orient, he would face uncertain dangers.

    The year is 1904. The bloody Boxer Rebellion is only four years past. Much of northern China still seethes with undercurrents of resentment and hatred of all things Western. If David can just make it to the ancient city with body and soul intact, if he can just survive, there he’ll find his new purpose, his new home, and his new people.

    There, he’ll meet the woman he comes to believe is the love of his life. The lithe, athletic, saucy, highly intelligent and equally independent Xiu Li!

    For questions, comments, author interview, or blog tour opportunities, feel free to contact me direct. Please note that SARAH QUANLI will be available to bookstores, school libraries, and other book resellers at a substantial discount through the publisher, or, or Baker Taylor.

    The ARC is the complete publisher's version, but without the cover art. It is available in PDF. Please let me know if you would like to read/review SARAH QUANLI for your blog.

    Warm Regards,

    Jackson Keene
    Plano, TX


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