Before the Scarlet Dawn: Daughters of the Potomac - Book 1 and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $14.99
  • Save: $2.97 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This item is used and has some wear. Qualifies for free shipping and prime programs.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Before the Scarlet Dawn: Daughters of the Potomac - Book 1 Paperback – February 1, 2012

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$1.87 $0.01

Best Books of the Year
See the Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Frequently Bought Together

Before the Scarlet Dawn: Daughters of the Potomac - Book 1 + Beside Two Rivers (The Daughters of the Potomac, No. 2) + Beyond the Valley: Daughters of the Potomac - Book 3
Price for all three: $37.65

Buy the selected items together

Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at

Product Details

  • Series: Daughters of the Potomac (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426714149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426714146
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,122,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Rita Gerlach has created an achingly vivid frame on which to stretch the canvas of her new series. Tracing the painful path a life takes when innocence and love are taken for granted, Before the Scarlet Dawn is an artfully hewn tale of romance tempered by fear -- and the hope of love, devastated by war.
Serena Chase ~ USA Today

Eliza captivates readers with her hardships and struggles. Her unpredictable circumstances make for a character with a relatable and heart-wrenching journey. Gerlach's writing and characters are addicting. She writes with a convicting and convincing nature.
Christian Books Preview

This novel set after the American Revolution has something for everyone: romance, mystery, comedy and intrigue. The descriptions of the estate, church grounds and characters, especially Seth and Juleah, help bring this novel to life. The writing is so vivid you'll hear the horses' hoofs and people's voices.
Romantic Times Book Review

"Ms. Gerlach's unique literary prose has once again captured my heart with a stirring tale of love and loss, desperation and hope during one of the most uncertain times in American History--the Revolutionary War. I cannot wait for the next book in the series!" - MaryLu Tyndall, author of Surrender the Dawn

"Filled with true-to-life characters whose struggles will linger with readers long after the last page is turned, Before the Scarlet Dawn is a memorable story of Revolutionary War-era England and America." - Amanda Cabot, author of Summer of Promise

"A stirring story of love and its consequences, Before the Scarlet Dawn will draw you in from the start and not let you go again." - Roseanna M. White, author of Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland and Jewel of Persia

"This is a big, beautiful, well-told story of love, faith, and the struggles of war that changed lives...and  hearts. I can't wait to read the next book in this series!" Loree Lough, best-selling author of more than 80 award-winning books, including reader favorite From Ashes to Honor

From the Back Cover

In 1775, Hayward Morgan, a young gentleman destined to inherit his father's estate in Derbyshire, England, captures the heart of the local vicar's daughter, Eliza Bloome. Her dark beauty and spirited ways are not enough to win him, due to her station in life.  

Circumstances throw Eliza in Hayward's path, and they flee to America to escape the family conflicts. But as war looms, it's a temporary reprieve. Hayward joins the revolutionary forces and what follows is a struggle for survival, a test of faith, and the quest to find lasting love in an unforgiving wilderness.

More About the Author

Rita Gerlach lives with her husband and two sons in a historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains, amid Civil War battlefields and Revolutionary War outposts in central Maryland. She was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in a large family in the Maryland suburbs.

"Romantic historical fiction that has an inspirational bent, is one way people can escape the cares of life and be transported back to a time of raw courage and ideal love," she says. "The goal of my writing is to give readers a respite from a stressful world and give them hope."

In many of her stories, she writes about the struggles endured by early colonists, with a sprinkling of both American and English history. Her genre - Inspirational Historical Romance / Drama.

Rita is a breast cancer survivor, and incorporates into her newer fiction what she learned through her journey --- courage, faith, and the precious gift of family and friendship.

Currently she is writing an Edwardian era novel set in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a historical community on the outskirts of Washington DC, leading to a fictional village in the western Maryland mountains. She is also co-authoring a historical series with bestselling Christian author Gilbert Morris.

Visit Rita's website at

Her Blog 'Inspire'

Customer Reviews

For once I have read a book that I could not predict how it would end.
The historical detail is good, the characters are very well fleshed out and it is a great book.
Susan Snodgrass
I found her character completely unbelievable and completely unrealistic.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Lollipops on April 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
BEFORE THE SCARLET DAWN is the most recent book by Rita Gerlach. I read Surrender the Wind and loved it so I looked forward to getting BEFORE THE SCARLET DAWN to review.

So... I'm not really sure how to write this review. This is a very hard book to write one on. It's obviously not finished, as there is no closure, and no happy ever after. So, I guess the story will continue with the next book in the series.

Eliza is a confusing character. She won't marry a suitor in Derbyshire, even though she would live in comfort for the rest of her life. He openly lusts after her, but Eliza is adamant that she won't marry unless love is involved. However, she willingly marries Hayward, even though he openly declares he doesn't love her and never will. Sometimes, Eliza acts really naïve, yet, the next moment she appears coldly calculating. Hayward isn't any better.

BEFORE THE SCARLET DAWN is not a book you'll want to read as a stand-alone if you want a happy ever after story. This is one I'd recommend waiting for the series to be complete so you can read all three books straight through.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By DianFlow on January 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Colonial Fiction At Its Finest!

In Before the Scarlet Dawn, Rita Gerlach has penned an emotionally gripping saga of the harsh realities of Colonial life; replete with the constant threat of Indians, terrifying blizzards, ravages of war, forbidden passion, and sin.

The beautiful and spirited Eliza Bloome of England, finds herself alone save for her servant and lifelong friend, Fiona, after the death of her father. Told she must vacate her home quickly, Eliza comes up with a daring become the wife of the wealthy Hayward Morgan and travel to the colonies with him. Eliza has been in love with the handsome Hayward since childhood, but he makes it clear to her that he does not return her affections, and that she is beneath his station in life. After a stinging rejection, however, from the lady Hayward has proposed to, he agrees to Eliza's plan, and together, with Fiona, they travel to the colonies.

Eliza falls in love with the beautiful Maryland, but is not prepared for the harshness of colonial life, and the isolation and loneliness that comes after Hayward goes to fight for the Patriot cause. Together, she and Fiona, fight for survival in this savage, but beautiful land, and when Hayward doesn't return for two long, lonely years, she must also fight off temptations of the flesh. Her handsome neighbor, Halston, makes it no secret as to his feelings towards the beautiful Eliza. Is her love and devotion to Hayward enough to withstand the temptation of a man who, unlike Hayward, is not afraid to declare his love for her? Will Hayward return from the war or become a casualty like so many others before him?
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By yearningtoread on July 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
Eliza's father, a man of humble means, has just passed away, leaving Eliza with no house or money, just the clothes on her back and the housemaid. In an effort to find work, she is reunited with the man she once loved as a girl, and who she still loves as a woman. When she offers to go with him to America as his bride, he refuses... But soon changes his mind for a daring journey in the night. Can they brave through the storms of life in a new country where Eliza must face trial after trial?

"This is great, this is great, this is...ahhhh... Nevermind." I'm SO bummed out about this book! It just...flopped. It had loads of potential but did not live up to any sort of goodness.

Oh, Eliza. Why? WHY?! I just don't understand. I really liked you...and now I just don't know what to think. Eliza is one of those characters who just...deteriorated. At least for me. I just couldn't respect any of the decisions she made after she heard the Terrible Awful News. Not even just her lack of judgement - but that lie she told to Hayward about it? GOLLY, so bad. I felt like her relationship with God didn't really go anywhere either. She went through so much hardship but there were no profound faith revelations or anything.

And Hayward... Holy SMOKES - if I ever met that man, I would need someone to restrain me and remind me that murder will land me in a hell of a lot of trouble.

Fiona and the rest were okay, I guess. They served their purposes but were not well-developed.

What. The. Heck. HAAAAPPPPEEEENNNNEEED?! Okay, so I'm all for sad books.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sally McC on March 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
Eliza has no choice. Her father is dead, she has no other family, and she must be out of the vicarage so the new family can move in. A man of standing wants to marry her, but his attention is merely physical. Eliza must have love. Or so she thinks. After she overhears Hayward's proposal being rejected because it involves a one-way trip to the colonies, Eliza believes herself to be in love with him and proposes he marry her instead. He accepts, but only because he is desperate enough to want a wife to manage his homestead in Maryland while he's fighting the English. He doesn't love her, never says he loves her, but Eliza now has a home.

Life in the colonies isn't exactly easy. There are Indians about, too-attentive bachelor neighbors, and no one is happy when Eliza makes mention of His Majesty at a social event. Events in Boston hasten Hayward's departure, although Eliza convinces him to at least stay until their child is born. After he leaves, she hears nothing for more than two years. Then, one day, the local minister brings news that no wife ever wants to hear...

Eliza is a strange character. She won't marry her suitor in Derbyshire, even though she would live in comfort for the rest of her life. He is open about his physical desire for her, but Eliza is adamant that she won't marry unless love is involved. Which is why it is totally confusing to the reader that she'll willingly marry Hayward even though he makes no declaration either. At times she comes across naïve, while at others she appears coldly calculating. Hayward isn't much better. Does he love his wife or doesn't he? And when she commits a major sin, you're left wondering whether or not he has forgiven her. I don't think he knew himself.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?