Against the Tide
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.
Introducing Bane & Lydia
Brief physical description
Lydia Pallas has dark auburn hair and a fresh-scrubbed prettiness. She is in marked contrast to Alexander Banebridge (Bane), whose cool, archangel beauty is stunning. Lydia constantly teases him about being far too gorgeous for mere mortals. Bane has blond hair and icy blue eyes, and seethes a dangerous charm.
For Bane, I’ve always imagined Alexander Skarsgard
For Lydia, I imagine Kate Beckinsale….she has a wholesome, fresh prettiness.
Strengths and weaknesses
Lydia’s father was Greek and her mother Turkish. As such, she had a difficult childhood running from country to country through the Mediterranean as her family had no roots. The upside was that she acquired an amazing array of languages, which she is able to capitalize on once she comes to America and takes a job as a translator for the U.S. Navy. Professional work like that was rare for a woman in the 1890’s, but Lydia’s skill vaults her to the attention of a man who desperately needs her.
As for Bane? The man has the charm of Cary Grant and the intelligence of James Bond…..but his heart is cold as ice. All his life he has held himself aloof from people. He moves through life as a charming rogue, sowing dissension wherever he goes, but all of it carefully designed to advance his ultimate crusade to outlaw the sale of opium. Then he meets Lydia, who slips beneath his carefully maintained defences. It was fun creating such a charming but icily cool hero who falls so swiftly and so completely for the heroine.
Quirk (if any)
Lydia’s early years were a life of rampant insecurity and poverty, leaving her with a fanatical need for order. She keeps her books alphabetised by author, her
clothing hanging in the order she intends to wear them. She arranges the food on her plate according to a plan and keeps her desk meticulously tidy. This quirk leaves her wide open to teasing from Bane, who delights in messing up her careful organization.
Background to the story
Bane appeared in my first book, The Lady of Bolton Hill, where he was a whiplash smart and lethally dangerous teenager. Fast forward fifteen years to 1891. Bane is all grown up and ready to carry out his lifelong quest to destroy the opium trade. In his journey, he comes across Lydia Pallas, whose unique skills as a translator he needs to help unravel a smuggling ring. A man as coolly analytical as he is relentless, Bane never bargained on falling in love with Lydia. As he battles the bittersweet love that grows between them, Bane’s mission will take Lydia away from everything—and everyone—she ever held dear.
Your inspiration for the character
Bane was such a powerful character in The Lady of Bolton Hill, where his reckless charm and intelligence stole every scene he appeared in, so I needed a heroine who matched him in terms of wit, intelligence, and bravado. She also needed to have a deep gash of vulnerability that would slice through Bane’s tough, cynical hide and make him go weak in the knees. Lydia has the rare ability to acquire a foreign language quickly, which makes her valuable to Bane. The two of them join forces and the chemistry was a joy to write. I think that Against the Tide is the most romantic of any book I’ve written.
Many thanks for letting me appear on your blog, Relz! I always enjoy popping over.
It’s a pleasure having you, Elizabeth ~ I adored this story and will be adding a review soon!