Saturday, November 17, 2012

Book Review: No Safe Harbor

Author: Elizabeth Ludwig
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
Publishers: Bethany House Publishers
Series: Edge of Freedom # 1

The Thrill of Romantic Suspense Meets the Romance of 1800s America

Lured by a handful of scribbled words across a faded letter, Cara Hamilton sets off from 1896 Ireland on a quest to find the brother she'd thought dead. Her search lands her in America, amidst a houseful of strangers and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh.

Despite her brother's warning, Cara decides to trust Rourke and reveals the truth about her purpose in America. But he is not who he claims to be, and as rumors begin to circulate about an underground group of dangerous revolutionaries, Cara's desperation grows. Her questions lead her ever closer to her brother, but they also bring her closer to destruction as Rourke's true intentions come to light.

“Hugh possessed the kinds of qualities Rourke knew they needed in their quest for a killer. He’d just never imagined that quest would involve a woman.” – Finished Copy pg. 37

“Though she was working hard to hide it, somehow he’d glean the truth. He’d find a way to get closer to her, learn her secrets. By one means or another he’d know if the person she searched for- the one she thought she’d seen today-was the man who’d murdered his father.” – Finished Copy pg. 89

“The man screamed, a cry of rage and pain so carnal it made Cara shudder. His hands left her throat to claw at his own neck, and Cara dashed around him, gasping as she felt nails grasp her arm and rasp across her flesh. With his other hand he snagged the flapping end of her scarf. It tightened briefly, threatening to cut off her air. She shrugged free of it and left it dangling from his fingers. Reaching the street, she ran, screaming.” – Finished Copy pg. 217
This book kept me on the edge of my seat from the very first page. I am not exaggerating at all when I say this. I finished this book before I had even started it! I wanted so badly to get an answer to Cara’s problem and I was scared and biting my nails for Cara and Rourke’s safety throughout the whole novel. Cara is looking for her brother that she believes to be dead and she finds danger lurking around every corner and dark alleyway. Cara meets up with Rourke along the way, and finds out that his intentions are not exactly what she expected.
Cara and Rourke’s journey is not something that I can easily express in words. This book is full of twists and turns and many unexpected turn of events. This was like following a high speed police chase and I almost had to resort to biting my nails! Cara was such a timid character, in my opinion, and I honestly questioned if she could handle the task at hand. I now doubt questioning her, ever! She proved me wrong and I was genuinely attached to her and Rourke by the end of the book. At first I had hesitations about Rourke too. I thought he would take advantage of Cara, being that she was so timid and meek. Again, she proved me wrong. I love characters that can do that! This tells me immediately that Cara grew tremendously as a character. I just chalked my relationship with Rourke up as a love/hate relationship that would never be solved. I wanted to believe him and trust him with Cara, but my gut told me otherwise. By the end of the book I did have a better understanding of him, however.
Cara was an Irish immigrant and this was a different persona that I greatly enjoyed reading about. We are given an inside look at Irish heritage as well as life in New York City in 1897. I love all things Irish, probably just because I love the way they speak. I loved the descriptions of the New York City life as it is just how I always imagined it would be. Even though we are going back in time a good ways, the streets are still as treacherous in certain parts as I imagine they can be today and if you cross the wrong sort of characters. The writing was rich and the language/dialogue was suited well to the 1800’s; that is always an important factor for me.
***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Bethany House in exchange for my honest review***

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