Description: 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 have to admit, I requested this book simply because of the breathtaking cover. I was pleased to find that the story inside was as wonderful as the cover. The story gripped me from the beginning and kept me turning the pages until the end.
After reading a disappointing book with typical romance, this was just what I needed to read. The romance was not typical. Instead of denying their feelings for each other, they admit it. That alone was a refreshing change. The only thing about the romance that I didn’t like is that the two of them decide at one point that even though they know they can’t be serious about each other, they will indulge in a flirtation. However, even that has a redeeming quality to as they soon realize that that is impossible. Also Bane is a Christian and Lydia is not when they start their romance. It didn’t bother me much, but I wish she had become a believer before Bane became serious about her.
Lydia was a character that I could instantly fall in love with. She had a hard early life, but she worked hard to overcome it. She is a wonderful mix of sweet and strong. In fact, all the characters in this book were amazing and well done. They are all complex, all make mistakes, but in the end, the good guys do what is right. I also really enjoyed the complex character of Bane.
I didn’t know how I would feel about reading of efforts to end the opium trade, but I was fascinated. Elizabeth Camden brought history to life in this story without making it too disgusting to read. She managed to show how opium hurt many people of the time without going into so much detail that it made you want to put down the book.
I think this book would be a great book for parents and teens to read together and discuss everything from how much drugs can cost you, to why casual romance is problematic (and can even be dangerous), and many other topics.
I highly recommend this book for those who love historical fiction, unique characters, thought-provoking stories, or just a great, page turning read.
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.