I was not sure what to expect when I received my copy of “Against the Tide” by Elizabeth Camden since I have never read any of her work before. The little bit I was given from Bethany House seemed interesting, but I was a bit concerned that it might not be something I would be able to sink my teeth into. Usually…if a story’s back cover cannot capture my attention then I am sort of leery of the book…but I was am happy to say…bad pun coming…you cannot judge a book by it’s cover…er…back cover.
“Against the Tide” is the story of Lydia Pallas and Alexander Banebridge. Lydia is an orphan who grows up in Boston. She works at the Naval Ship Yard as a translator thanks to her early years living in different countries with her family. Lydia is tragically torn from her family when their boat does not return to harbor in Boston. Alexander Banebridge is an enigmatic man who visits Lydia’s boss on an infrequent basis. He is handsome in a classical sense, but he is remote. He never fails to mess with Lydia’s items on her desk whenever he comes to visit. Lydia and Bane (his nickname) strike up a partnership of sorts when he needs a translator.
The reader is taken on a wonderful ride through their unconventional courtship and as a watcher of this courtship dance, the reader is definitely rooting for Lydia to have love. Not just love, but also stability and a family. Someone to call her own. We find out that Bane also wants those things but for his own reasons, denies himself and her.
I like how Camden does not make the two characters overly sweet. It would not be with the keeping of their characters. They are both fiercely independent and have a good sense of self worth. Their love story is really a side note to the rest of the story which involves political intrigue, drug abuse, reformation and kidnapping. Faith does play a big part of this story but it is more subdued than other stories I have read.
I really enjoyed the pacing of this story, the characters and the plot. If you are interested in a fantastic read for a winter night (heck, any night) then this book is for you. It’s a fascinating blend of history, great story and a wonderful (redemptive) romance.