Tide and Tempest (Edge of Freedom Book 3) by Elizabeth Ludwig
Tide and Tempest is the third book in the Edge of Freedom series. Book 1, No Safe Harbor, is about Cara Hamilton and Rourke Walsh and takes place mostly in America. Book 2, Dark Road Home, is about Ana Kavanagh and Eoghan Hamilton, Cara’s brother. His desire was to join the Fenians organized in New York City.The three books share the time frame from the late 19th century and roots in Ireland. The presence of an underground revolutionary movement–a group called the Fenians–adds historical context, an element of danger, and suspense.
While there is mention of the above named characters of the first two books in the Tide and Tempest, the individual stories are only loosely associated with each other. I have not read the first two books of the series, but the third book seems to be able to stand alone very well.
For the back story, Tillie McGrath traveled overseas from Ireland with her fiance Braedon, who was a secret member of the Fenians. Unfortunately, Braedon didn’t survive the voyage and once Tillie arrived in the city, she had been forced to fend for herself. She found lodging at Amelia Matheson’s boardinghouse and work with a milliner making hats. In her spare time, she worked at a local church’s homeless shelter. Some of her hard work was a means to work off a guilty conscience for a secret she never divulged to her friends in America.
At the opening of this tale, it is two years after her arrival in America and Captain Keondric Morgan, of the ship she crossed over, had come to pay her a visit. Unfortunately it wasn’t a social call. Captain Morgan had just discovered that the death of Tillie’s fiance was not due to illness but a planned murder. Captain Morgan was determined to find the reason because not only had Braedon perished, but someone had killed the ship’s doctor and a shipmate, Donal, as well. What if Tillie’s life was also in danger by association?
In a sprint against time, the Captain and his brother Cass set out to protect Tillie’s life just in time to prevent her death in several bizarre “accidents.” Their intense investigations only led to more and more questions, until Tillie admitted that when she had visited her fiance in his final moments he had given her a ring with instructions to take it to a member of the Fenians and ask for help. The key to solving the mystery of the murders was in the finely crafted ring.
Before I read this book, I had never heard of the Fenians before. So I looked up their history and found it fascinating. I enjoy learning something new in historical fiction pieces like this. Another thing I enjoyed about the book is the way the author developed the relationship between Cass Morgan and his brother Keondric Morgan. As they faced the challenges of keeping Tillie McGrath safe and solving the mystery of the ring, their relationship grew as they gained respect for each other. Keondric realized his little brother was becoming a responsible man in his own right.
I also loved how the author created a slow burning relationship between Tillie and Keondric fraught with uncertainties. Theirs was a complex relationship, and the author fully develops moments of attraction and conflict between them. Eventually, the depth of feeling he has for her is demonstrated in a more powerful way than anything he could have said. Between the nail biting suspenseful moments and the tentative romance developing in the main characters, the author takes the reader for quite an emotional roller coaster ride, especially toward the end of the book. If you enjoy historical romantic suspense novels, then you will enjoy this book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”