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No Safe Harbor

(Edge of Freedom #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,389 ratings  ·  222 reviews
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 Ame
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 2012 by Bethany House Publishers
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,389 ratings  ·  222 reviews

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Andrea Cox
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book! I really enjoyed the complexity of this story, how everything was interwoven yet kept me guessing, and that the characters were so realistic they practically popped off the page.

There was one moment that I found to be blatantly disrespectful to God and fellow parishioners, during which the lead and another character talked during a prayer time at a Catholic church. While I am not Catholic, I still believe the prayer times during their church services should be respected.

Other tha
{3.5 stars}

Besides a few moments that I was like "What in the world...?", "I'm so lost..." and "CHARACTERS, behave!" I really enjoyed this book. Very suspenseful and there are so many things going on that you just have to keep reading. I'm curious to see how the series continues, especially concerning Eoghan :)
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
My first two thoughts about this novel after completion:
1. Cara will you please listen!
2. There are some bitter Bettys up in late 1800s NYC. I think a few folks needed some high fives and hugs.

In some cases, this would make for a frustrating novel, but in the case of No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig, it worked for an entertaining and suspenseful read.

There were characters you weren’t sure if you could trust, definite villains, all the while wondering about her brother. I thought Ludwig did a g
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This novel came out of nowhere and completely enthralled me.

A rich historical with tension abounding in heritage, setting and characters. The romance was forbidden and absolutely perfect. I loved the richness of the Irish culture, how their prejudice crossed the ocean to America with them and produced more than a little bit of fodder for today’s modern authors.

The voice behind the words on the page was what swept me so deeply into this book. It’s engrossing, unique and perfect for a deep and
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the suspense of this story. There are plenty of twists and turns, and I loved Elizabeth Ludwig's writing style. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical adventures! I read it in two days and went straight to the two sequels.
Dec 30, 2013 rated it liked it
I was intrigued by the premise of this book. Cara is looking for her twin brother, who she thought was dead. But, he is in hiding because several people want to kill him.

This book promised to be suspenseful, but I felt that it was very slow, and I found myself losing interest in the plot and the characters. And the backstory was confusing, I don't know if I completely understood each character's past and how it motivated them to act in the book.

Also, the ending was not what I wanted. Without s
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fantastic suspense filled with just the right amounts of intrigue, romance, and faith! Super glad to know I have the rest of the series waiting on my shelf...
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm a huge fan of general market historical suspense/mystery by authors like Deanna Raybourn and Carol K. Carr and I'm so glad that Elizabeth Ludwig wrote this Christian historical novel so I can add her to my must-read suspense author list. I've read a bunch of contemporary suspense in the Christian fiction genre but I can't recall reading one with a historical setting in recent months. No Safe Harbor was a refreshing, detailed read that I really enjoyed. I'll admit to finding it a bit hard to ...more
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review originally appeared on the Historical Novel Society website. Review copy provided by publisher.

Cara Hamilton arrives in 1897 New York alone on an immigrant ship from Ireland, looking for her brother Eoghan, who fled to America after becoming mixed up with Irish nationalists. She is helped by Rourke Walsh, and the pair fall in love but, unknown to Cara, Rourke also wants to find Eoghan—for revenge.

Setting a romance against the fragmented politics of Irish nationalism is a bold move, a
No Safe Harbor, book one in the Edge of Freedom Series, is the first book I have read by Elizabeth Ludwig. Immediately I was caught up in the story; however, after a while parts of the story became a bit tedious and the ending was kind of unbelievable, but otherwise the story was very enjoyable.

I knew a little about the Irish/British conflicts, but felt that this part in the book wasn't explained very well at all. Terms were just mentioned without telling you what they meant and so I wasn't alwa
Ruth Hill
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, mystery
There is absolutely nothing like a good romance, a good mystery, and the gospel all tied together. Yes, this book hit the mark with absolutely no problem. From the very first page all the way through the end, I was mesmerized. Elizabeth Ludwig is one of my favorite authors, and this is a book that will keep you completely intrigued and enthralled. The style is readable, and the characters are 3-dimensional.

There are two things I especially relished in this book. Rarely do I get to read a myster
Michelle Griep
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ready for a historical thrill ride that will keep you teetering on the edge of your seat? NO SAFE HARBOR is the book for you! Author Elizabeth Ludwig not only weaves intrigue with historical fact, but creates memorable characters that will leave you begging for more. Good thing this is the first in a trilogy (The Edge of Freedom).

Hero Rourke Walsh is everything a hero should be. Handsome. Strong. Completely trustworthy...or is he? Cara Hamilton has a hard time figuring that out, yet doesn't real
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
This was my first Elizabeth Ludwig novel and certainly will not be my last. This is book one in a series of three.

The novel appealed to me because it is historical fiction, which is my favorite. What I didn't expect though was suspense to be a part of the novel. It was a nice combination of romance and suspense set in late 1800's New York.

I look forward to seeing what will happen in book two!
Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book.
The characters are complex but well developed.
The plot is interesting and moves fairly quickly.
Fans of Christian historical fiction will enjoy this book.
It's the first book I've read by Elizabeth Ludwig, but I plan to read the rest in this series.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. If you described this book, it would sound like a lot of my least favorite things: lying characters, kissy romance, and lots of bad guys airtime.
The characters start out lying to everyone right and left, which was not my style at all, but the consequences were so well laid out, it made it worth it.
I was a little put off by all the sections with the bad guys, but it built the tension perfectly.
I loved how the romance built up slowly, and whil
I listened to the audio book. The narrator does a good job of voices that really lets you know who is talking even with all the Irish and English accents.

A nice mix of mystery, romance, suspense of Irish immigrants set in New York.

This is my first Ludwig novel so I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
Victor Gentile
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Ludwig in her new book, “No Safe Harbor” Book One in the Edge Of Freedom series published by Bethany House takes us into the life of Cara Hamilton.

From the back cover: New York City, 1897

She came to America searching for her brother. Instead all she’s found is a web of danger.

Cara Hamilton had thought her brother to be dead. Now, clutching his letter, she leaves Ireland for America, desperate to find him. Her search leads her to a houseful of curious strangers, and one man who claims t
Patricia Kemp Blackmon
Ireland, 1897. Cara Hamilton has lost everyone in her family including her twin brother. She can't fathom why God would leave her so alone. Then one day she received a post from America, it was from her twin brother Eoghan. He was alive and hiding out in New York. But where in New York. All he said was for her to come, he would be waiting for her. She was not to mention to anyone why she the journey to America or admit she she knew him. Their lives were at stake.

As she gets her first look at Lad
Jan 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review, blog-tour
While reading this historical work of fiction, I was surprised to learn that Elizabeth Ludwig has published novels prior to this since I’ve not yet uncovered the gem that was her style of writing. Under the assumption that Ludwig was another of the fabulous debut authors from 2012 (in my defense, this is her first pairing with Bethany House), imagine my further surprise when I realized I actually own one of her novels from the “Love Finds You” series. Before I reveal what I thought of this story ...more
Amber Stokes
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ludwig pulls off this combination of "historical romance" and "romantic suspense" genres well with an atmospheric story that pulls you into the dark, stormy streets of New York, a boarding house harboring secrets and emotional battles waiting to happen, and in and out of alleyways and warehouses and secret meetings. The suspense is well-crafted, and the danger and high emotion involved add up to some great romantic tension. All of the different perspectives and the continuously raised stakes mak ...more
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Author: Elizabeth Ludwig
Publisher: Bethany House
October 2011
ISBN: 978-0764210396
Genre: Historical/romantic suspense

Cara Hamilton has gone to New York City to be with her brother, one she’d presumed dead, until she received a letter from him. Eoghan said he’d meet her there, but if he’s delayed to talk to no one, trust no one. Curious at the strange instructions, Cara keeps them in her mind, but when a business man befriends her on the voyage, then directs her to someplace to
SUMMARY: 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 ru
Cara Hamilton steps off of the boat from Ireland onto the soil of Ellis Island with one thought in her mind - find her brother. With no place to stay, she finds herself in a boarding house full of strangers and a job working in a candle shop. The faded words of her brother's note warn her not to trust anyone, but despite that warning, Cara finds herself trusting a man who has proven to be a friend to her - Rourke Walsh. Rourke has secrets he's hiding. When danger threatens Cara, Rourke must put ...more
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A winding tale that shows the promise of America to immigrants dreaming of a new future.

Cara Hamilton comes to America in search of her twin brother, Eoghan, who has become embroiled in political conspiracies. Cara soon becomes a target, herself. Who can she trust in this strange new world?

Ms. Ludwig does an excellent job of bringing America to life through the eyes of a young woman just arrived on it's golden shores. Cara was an excellent heroine who made the best out of the situation she was
Cynthia Hickey
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story. Irish immigrants, an accidental death, a touch of suspense, what's not to like?

Cara Hamilton, once believing her brother dead, travels to America after receiving a letter from him. She arrives on foreign soil, completely alone, until she is befriended by another immigrant, Rourke Walsh. Cara's brother instructed her to keep her reason for coming to America a secret or both their lives would be in danger. When handsome Rourke offers his help, Cara is torn between attraction an
Oct 29, 2014 rated it liked it
It took me quite some time to get into this book. I've come to the conclusion that I just don't care for plots that revolve around people not trusting each other and keeping secrets and working at cross-purposes; it just frustrates me. In fact, about 1/3 of the way through this book I almost gave up on it. However, I'm really glad I didn't, because the last half was so much better than the first part!

The suspense was done well, and there were a few chapters where I couldn't read fast enough! Whi
May 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
I had several problems with this book.
1) It was so boring and repetitive - it just dragged on and on repeating the same details over and over.
2) Too many convenient, unbelievable coincidences
3) The references to faith and prayer were awkward and seemed thrown in so this book would fit in the Christian category
4) Completely predictable
The fact that the book was completely clean raised it from 1 star to 2 stars

Sex/Nudity: mild - some kissing
Profanity/Language: none
Violence/Gore: mil
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I loved this book! I couldn't put it down! What a gripping tale!
Cara Hamilton leaves Ireland for America, in search of her twin brother. She fears that her brother is dead and she must find out what has happened to him. This story has many twists and turns and grips you from page one. I read quite a few reviews that said the story dragged. I don't know where it dragged, because I had a hard time putting it down and had to keep reading. I loved Cara!
Esther Marie
Nov 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I found this novel difficult to get into, moderately enjoyable in the middle, and not unsatisfying at the end. It wasn't a bad book, but it was unremarkable in every way. I suppose I can only blame myself, as historical romance novels can be very hit or miss. A miss, for me, though others might enjoy it.
Marcia Gruver
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've never been disappointed in Elizabeth Ludwig's books, and No Safe Harbor is no exception. As soon as you open the cover, the story places you convincingly on the mean streets of New York City in 1897. The rest is a suspenseful ride. I love the setting. Loved the characters. Loved the romance. She had me at chapter one.
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Christian Histori...: March Group Read- No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig 24 53 Apr 11, 2017 12:32PM  
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Elizabeth Ludwig is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Book three in her popular EDGE OF FREEDOM series, Tide and Tempest, was named a finalist for the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Elizabeth was also named a finalist in the 201 ...more

Other books in the series

Edge of Freedom (3 books)
  • Dark Road Home (Edge of Freedom, #2)
  • Tide and Tempest (Edge of Freedom, #3)
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