Sunday, November 18, 2012

Review of "Against the Tide" by Elizabeth Camden

Rating: 4 Stars
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Summary: 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.
When forces conspire against them from without and within, can their love survive? - Bethany House

Review: Rich in historical detail, "Against the Tide" transports readers to New England through the Navy Yards of Boston and to the wilderness of Vermont.  Elizabeth Camden reintroduces readers to Alexander Banebridge and Professor Van Bracken, who were both introduced in "The Lady of Bolton Hill."  “Against the Tide” is definitely a stand-alone novel, despite the connection.  I remembered very little about Bane and the Professor, but that did not leave any gaps in the book.

The plot of “Against the Tide” has moments of excitement and suspense throughout.  The tension between Bane and Lydia drives the first half of the novel.  They profess their feelings for each other early in the plot, and their strong feelings develop too fast for my personal taste. Circumstances ultimately keep Lydia and Bane apart, which adds more interest.  The second half of “Against the Tide” is propelled by tension as Professor Van Braken enters the scene. I didn't feel a complete connection to the main characters, but I did enjoy their strength and dedication to fighting injustice. 

I learned some heartbreaking details about opium and the past prevalence of the drug in children’s tonics. The scenes of opium withdrawal that Camden incorporates into the plot are somewhat intense, but they form a vivid picture of the effects of drug dependency. Camden’s talent for incorporating historical facts stands out in this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Bethany House.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above 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.”

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