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Before the Dawn Mass Market Paperback – October 2, 2001


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; First Avon Books Paperback Printing edition (October 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380813750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380813759
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Oh, what a tangled web we weave! Try to keep up, readers, as we board the roller coaster that has become beautiful Leah Barnett's life. Following her beloved mother's death the previous year, Leah inherited the Black Swan, a Boston tavern servicing sailors of color, where Leah scrapes to get by. On his deathbed, her mother's longtime lover, Louis Montague, convinces Leah to marry him in order that she might inherit the estate he abandoned when he left Colorado 30 years earlier. What Monty neglects to tell Leah until after the simple ceremony is that he abandoned two sons--half-brothers Ryder and Seth--there as well. Accompanied by Monty's best friend, Cecil Lee, Leah boards a train to Colorado to claim her bequest, enduring petty prejudices along the way. But nothing prepares Leah for her first encounter with Ryder Damien, her half-breed stepson who blames his absentee father for his illegitimate birth and his Cheyenne mother's tragic death. Determined not to care that the hostile Ryder thinks her a shameless gold digger, Leah nonetheless cannot deny his devastating attractiveness. Even Seth Montague, Monty's smooth-talking, legitimate Creole son, can't hold a candle to the longhaired Ryder. But Leah's arrival in Denver is further plagued by a 30-year-old court judgment that might cost Leah not only her inheritance, but her very freedom if she can't raise the additional money to pay off Monty's creditors. Enter Ryder, who offers to give Leah the funds she needs--if she'll give herself to him. And the dance begins! Accomplished author Beverly Jenkins creates a captivating tale of passion, distrust, and evil in disguise that keeps readers flipping pages until the end. --Alison Trinkle

About the Author

Beverly Jenkins is the author of thirty historical and contemporary novels, including five previous books in her beloved Blessings series. She has been featured in many national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, People, the Dallas Morning News, Vibe, and many other publications.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
82%
4 star
16%
3 star
1%
2 star
0%
1 star
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See all 68 customer reviews
This book is packed with excitement, romance and mystery.
Dawn Chambray
This is my favorite Beverly Jenkins book and I've read most of her books but this one tops them all for me.
Amazon Customer
I have given the book five stars because it is a wonderful read.
Rene M. Mastin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 1, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As he lies dying Louis Montague wants to make things right for Leah Barnett, daughter of the woman he always loved. He persuades Leah into marrying him so she can inherit his vast estate. Reluctantly she agrees to wed a man she considers her father while knowing she will be a widow in days and that their marriage will never be consummated. Louis also makes a deathbed confession. He admits that he has sired two thirty plus year old boys that live in Colorado and that he has not seen them in decades. He wants a shocked Leah to tell them he is sorry.

Leah takes the train west where she meets the younger Montague Ryder who feels this Jezebel took advantage of a sick old man to steal the estate. However, the vast estate has large debts, which Monty offers to pay in return for a few favors. Soon, Monty and Leah fall in love, but can he overcome his distrust and hatred especially when someone else wants them dead.

Readers will find this an exciting Reconstruction Era romance, but what make a Beverly Jenkins tale a delight are the tidbits on African-American history that blends smoothly into the plot. For instance, readers learn the color of Leah's skin via the conductor telling her that people like her do not belong in that part of the train. As usual the graceful Ms. Jenkins entertains and educates her audience with a stirring ethnic romantic tale of 1870s America.

Harriet Klausner
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By busylady on November 2, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is another historical masterpiece by Beverly Jenkins. She comes up with some really great ideas for her stories. I guess that's why she writes books and I only write reviews. Okay the gist of the story, Leah marries her mother's long-time love, don't get turned off, on his deathbed but only because he loves her like a daughter and wants to leave her his inheritance. The problem, he has two sons both older than Leah and he wants her to convey to them his regrets at having been such a lousy father and let them know he died a changed man. Now! Here's the reason that you really, really want to read this book.
When Pearl Cleage told us she was looking for a brother to "turn the boat around" she had Ryder Damien in mind. A strong-willed, handsome, take-charge man who knows what he wants and goes after it. Of course he has a few "soft spots" when people have been slinging hurtful barbs at you all your life, you get a little sensitive, but Leah is the cure for all his ills. This book is charged with raw sexuality the pages sizzle. Ryder is witty, charming (when he wants to be) and exciting and Leah is his equal in every respect. What a Man!!!! Just think you can get all this for $5.95 even less if you order from Amazon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lisa M. Ward on October 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been patiently waiting for this book for over a year now.....and it was definitely worth the wait.
We meet Leah, a very hard-working owner of a tavern, who even scrubs her own floors. Born to a free-spirited woman and a seafaring sailor she never knew. Although she grew up surrounded by her mother's love, she was still taunted as being a "bastard" child.
Then we are introduced to Ryder Damien. Born of mixed race,Black and Cheyenne, he too was taunted as a child. Nicknamed "Squaw Boy" by ignorant others including his own half-brother, Seth.
From the first time they meet, as she's helped from a train, sparks begin to fly. Even after he learns she's his father's widow, the man who deserted him and accused of killing his own Mother, he still couldn't deny the attraction.
I couldn't stop turning the pages. From the threat of prison, to Leah being bought by Ryder, to his brother Seth pursuing her, to his ultimate admission of love and the exciting heart-stopping ending. Through it all, my attention was held, the romantic scenes were "HOTT" and I even got a history lesson out of it.
I will say this.....being from Georgia, the Peach State, I'll never, EVER look and/or eat a peach the same ever again!
Once again, Beverly, you done good girl. Ryder Damien is definitely a hero to remember. I'm going over to Harper/Collins website now to vote for him as hero fo the month of October. He sure deserves it. I hope that those reading this review will do the same.
My favorite scene was, (not counting the peach eating scene)was when they went elk hunting for "King". I got a good laugh off that one. My fiance and I are going to the mountains next month. I'm thinking of taking some peaches with me.....wonder if I could talk him into elk hunting as well!
Readers.....BUY THIS BOOK!! You will not be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 3, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With a new cast of characters, Ms. Jenkins fills your appetite for a spicy love story that leaves you more knowledgable about little talked about areas of African-American history. Ms. Jenkins's male lead, Ryder, is hot, sexy and all man. And you won't find Leah (the heroine) sitting in a field of flowers, drinking tea and waiting to get rescued by a big, strong man--although Ryder easily steps up to protect his woman. The characters are original, sensuous and fun. Enjoy!
Kimberley White, Author of "Sweet Tomorrows"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Avid reader on June 18, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
this was the first book i'd ever read by Beverly Jenkins, since then i am one of her biggest fans. this book capture me in a way no other romance novel has before and trust me i read lots of romances. The book is quite an adventure, and is sprinkled with humor. and finishes with a bang. the only thing i could say at the end is Da--!
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More About the Author

Beverly Jenkins grew up in Detroit and majored in journalism and English literature at Michigan tate University. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, People, the Dallas Morning News, Vibe, and many other national publications.

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