Lydia Pallas is an unconventional heroine-- as I believe all true heroines are. Her first nine years were spent on a rickety fishing boat with her parents (a Turk and a Greek) and baby brother Michael. Learning new languages comes easily to Lydia, along with her optimistic outlook. The poor but happy family sets sail for Boston, where her dream of going to school is about to be realized when tragedy strikes.
Fifteen years later, 1891, Lydia goes to work for the U.S.Navy as a translator.
Finally Lydia's life is stable, but of course all that is about to change when she meets the dangerously mysterious Alexander Banebridge, an acquaintance of her boss, Admiral Eric Fontaine, a dashing but solemn widower.
An interesting and important thread to the story is how opium, was put in everything from babies' teething remedies to headache medicine--before the time of product labeling. It's funny how the government is still influenced by those who don't want to be forthcoming about what is in our food...
Every time I read one of Elizabeth Camden's books I am reminded of the Baroness Emmuska Orczy's Scarlet Pimpernel. Elizabeth's brand of adventure, slight of hand, and romance has me believing in true love forever.
Oh, in case you haven't read The Scarlet Pimpernel, you can get it for free on e-books!