Skip to main content

Review of "Against the Tide" by Elizabeth Camden

Against the TideAnd the streak continues.  Now that I've reached 3 bad books in a row maybe I'll get one I like--you know since bad things supposedly come in threes.
Against the Tide had so much potential.  The heroine, Lydia, is a young woman in 1891, who actually works for a living and isn't a servant or a teacher.  That's a big thing for that time period, especially since she has a government job as a translator for the Navy.  Unfortunately, her job doesn't pay her enough money for her to buy her apartment from her greedy landlord--she needs $600 by December in order to keep her home and she only makes $30 per week.  Enter Bane.  Yes, you read that right.  The hero's name is
Bane. I tried really hard not to picture him as the villain from The Dark Knight Rises, but you know what?  I shouldn't have bothered.  I have a feeling that had I watched that movie, I would have liked that Bane better than this one.  Alas, he was probably more entertaining too.Bane--Against the Tide
Anyway, Bane asks Lydia to do some translating on the side and because she is in such dire financial straits, she agrees to do it--for an exorbitant (for that time) sum.  For a while, the only interactions they have are when he drops off more documents for her to translate (she speaks English, Italian, Russian, Greek, Albanian, and Turkish), but eventually they start spending more time together, despite the fact that Bane has told her that he will never marry and that she has a huge crush on the man.  I have to admit that Bane can be a bit charming from time to time--he takes Lydia out to the country when she tells him that she'd never seen cows and that she hasn't been outside of Boston since her family disappeared when she was 9 years old, he gives her a compass, and he tried to take her to the Boston Museum of Art (it was closed--for a Christian, he sure isn't familiar with the Blue Laws).

You're probably asking yourself what is so bad about all of that?  Well, nothing, to be honest.  Those parts of the story are all pretty decent and the writing is really nice.  My problems are mostly with Bane.  First of all, he is a lobbyist and a bully (He's how I picture Chris Christie once he's no longer allowed to be Governor of NJ and fails to win the presidency next year).  He may not have been called that at the time, but that sure as hell is what he does.  He is described as influencing politicians, even causing the governor of Vermont to lose his re-election bid because he went against Bane's wishes regarding a bridge connecting Vermont and Canada (which, according to several Vermont-ites, is wholly unnecessary).  Why is Bane against this bridge?  Apparently, it will make the Opium Trade between the US and Canada easier for smugglers.

He's also unabashedly Christian.  There really isn't anything wrong with that unless that Christian-ness makes you an absolute asshole, which in Bane's case it does.  Take this for example:
He would need to leave Lydia as soon as he discovered how opium was being smuggled into Boston, but before he left, he wanted to share his gift of faith with her. There was very little else he could give to this glorious woman, but that was one thing he could do for her.

Camden, Elizabeth (2012-10-01). Against the Tide (p. 127). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Lydia, you see, is not religious.  Before her parents disappeared/drowned, her father talked to her about the Goddess of the Moon and she would wish on the moon for things she wanted to happen.  According to Bane, this is foolish in the extreme.  How that is any different than praying to the Sky Bully (as Joss Whedon calls him) is beyond me.  Bane thinks this is funny and pokes fun at her because she still goes out at night to wish on the full moon.  In his mind, taking away her beliefs and replacing them with his is a gift.  How very Christian of him--literally (when the Roman Catholic Church was spreading the religion around, they would takeover lands and force Christianity upon the masses, whether they wanted it or not).

A few paragraphs after this thought, Bane begins to lecture Lydia:
“You did not have a safe environment. You did not have birthday presents or decent clothing or even the chance to go to school. In fact, aside from a loving family, you really had nothing at all, did you.... Now here you are in Boston. You have a home and a job you love. You have money in the bank, food in your pantry. And yet you are so terribly insecure. You get upset if your ink bottles are out of order. For heaven’s sake, ink bottles.... Lydia, I believe there is a deep, powerful magnet that is pulling you toward the Lord. Your desire to seek out some voice in the universe to speak to is the beginning of faith. Listen to that urge. Follow it. Begin living your life the way God would want you to, and I believe the tiny, fragile spark inside will begin to grow.”

Camden, Elizabeth (2012-10-01). Against the Tide (p. 128-129). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Oh, Bane.  You may have religion, but I have psychology.  The reason Lydia compulsively orders her life is not because she needs religion, but because she needs to feel like she has control over something.  Her parents died on her when she was nine and since then nothing in her life has been under her control.  She desperately needs to control something.  Religion is the last thing that she needs, especially one that relies on the idea of a supernatural being deciding everything for you.

This is where I gave up on this book.  It really is a shame.  Lydia was a very intriguing character and there are clues that she would have to fight off an opium addiction thanks to the "medicine" the orphanage she ended up in giving it to her whenever she had trouble sleeping.  She deserved a much better hero than the one Ms. Camden gave her.  Unfortunately for her (and me), she got Bane.  Oh, well.  Had I realized this book was an inspirational romance, I wouldn't have touched it with a 10 ft pole.

DNF

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Throwback Review: The Dream Trilogy by Nora Roberts

There are some books that stick with you no matter how long it has been since you first read them.  For me, the Dream Trilogy has always been in the back of my head.  I probably read them a good 15 years ago and the last time was a good 10 years back.  As a matter of fact, that trilogy was part of the first round of books I purchased when I got my first kindle for my 24th birthday (I never actually read it after buying the digital version; I guess I just needed to know that I could read them if I wanted.


The first book of the trilogy, Daring to Dream, was released in 1996 when I was just 10 years old and more concerned with passing math (I did, but not without many a night of struggling to remember what the E in PEMDAS meant) than I was with the goings on of fictional characters inside the pages of a book.  In fact, if I read at all during that time period it was to get a free pan pizza through Pizza Hut and the Book It! program.  I've mentioned this a few times before, but I act…

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Review of "Lord of Chance" by Erica Ridley

Title: Lord of Chance Author: Erica Ridley ISBN: 1943794049 Publisher: Webmotion Series: Rogues to Riches #1 Price: $7.99 (paperback) $3.99 (e-book) $9.97 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 





I was recently given the opportunity to take part in a Blog Tour for the newest Erica Ridley novel, Lord of Chance, and as I've liked her books in the past, I decided to do it.  The publisher quickly provided me with  a whole folder full of goodies, so without further ado:
The Excerpt
'Charlotte harrumphed to hide her amusement. “How are you at pressing wrinkles from gowns?” “Let me assure you,” Mr. Fairfax informed her with utter seriousness, “that I have never worn a wrinkled gown in all my life.” “Very gentlemanly.” She tried not to smile. “Let’s see your skill as maid-of-all-work, then. My gowns are in the wardrobe, as is my traveling iron. See what you can do.” “At your service.” He bowed, then turned and marched to the wardrobe like a soldier off to war. Now that he couldn’t see her, she let her…

Review of "New York, Actually" by Sarah Morgan

Title: New York, Actually
Author: Sarah Morgan
ISBN: 0373804105
Publisher: HQN Books
Series: From Manhattan with Love #4
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96 (Audible)
Rating: 🐶🐶🐶🐶1/2


If you follow me on social media, you'll have seen my posts about this book over the last week.  For the most part, they weren't very positive -- until about 20% into the book, I hated the hero.  If I could have set him on fire, I probably would have.  It was only Ms. Morgan's prose and the fact that I had been looking forward to this book for 6 months that kept me reading.  For once, I am glad I was so wrong about a character.

From the PublisherOne man. One woman. Two dogs.  Meet Molly—New York's most famous advice columnist, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they're other people's. Still bruised from her last breakup, Molly is in no rush to find happily-ever-after—the only love of her life is her dalmatian, Valentine.  Meet Daniel—A cynical divorce …

Review of "On the Surface" by Kate Willoughby

Title: On the Surface
Author: Kate Willoughby
ASIN: B00GKBIQMW
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: In the Zone #1
Price: $4.99 (e-book) | $12.47 (Audible Audio)
Rating: DNF


From the Publisher
NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After “Bottlegate,” he’s traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he’ll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.
Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who’s never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim’s autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.
Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of an…

Review of "The Thing About Love" by Julie James

Title: The Thing About Love
Author: Julie James
ISBN: 0425273776
Publisher: Berkley
Series: FBI/US Attorney Book #7
Price: $10.99 (paperback) $8.99 (e-book) $15.74 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2

From The Publisher
Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.
After spending six years in Los Angeles—and the last six months wondering how her marriage fell apart—FBI Special Agent Jessica Harlow is looking for a fresh start. When she finds out that the Chicago field office has an opening for an undercover agent, returning to her hometown seems like the perfect answer. But her new partner, John Shepherd, is someone she never expected to see again. Six years ago, the cocky Army Ranger was her top competition at the FBI Academy, and the one man who got under her skin like no other. 
Just one assignment away from joining the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team, John isn't g…