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Before the Dawn

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  810 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Leah Barnett can't believe how far fate has carried her: from Boston to the towering Colorado Rockies...and into the life of an angry, ruggedly sexy man. Ryder Damien is not about to welcome this beauty with open arms, however, especially since Leah was the one who won the affection of Ryder's late father and now may inherit, his considerable wealth. But when she stands ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 2nd 2001 by Avon (first published January 1st 2001)
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Average rating 4.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  810 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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I initially read this book several years ago. I have re-read it many times. That's how good this book is. I love the historical setting, the mystery, and the sexiness of the tortured hero. Ryder is sooooo HOT!
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jenkins never disappoint
L. Wright
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Leah Barnett inherited her mother's tavern, the Black Swan, upon her mother's death. The Black Swan was a Boston establishment that serviced sailors of color. At the books opening, Leah is struggling to run the business, barely getting by on the money coming in. Louis Montague (Monty), her mother's longtime boyfriend, is near death and convinces Leah to marry him so that she may claim his Colorado estate. It's not until the marriage is official that Montague surprises Leah with the revelation ...more
Lover of Romance
This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance My Review Updated
Leah Barnett, has come a long way. With her mother having passed away, a man who has always been like a father to her, Louis Montague leaves her all of wealth upon his death if she agrees to marry him on the day of his death. Leah inherited her mother's business, but she is struggling to make do. Monty sees her as the daughter he never had, and wants to make sure she will be taken care of. So Leah reluctantly agrees, knowing
I quite liked this though I greatly disliked the manufactured way this was plotted.
I just love BJ
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened, 5-audible
I LOVED this story and the reader, Thomas Penny, was fantastic. This was a romance, thriller, and mystery rolled into one. A dying man with extensive life regrets, two hate filled sons, a scorned woman, secrets, lies and deception....What more ould you want in a book? I fell in love with Cecil, Samuel, Monty and Ryder. Leah was a tough cookie and held her own. all she wanted was a better life and to see the World. What she received instead was trouble and more trouble but, in the end she ...more
History, Romance & Mystery

Another amazing tale from Ms. Jenkins. She has written another thrilling romance adventure! Not only do we get history and romance, but she has added a little mystery flava. The heat and chemistry between Ryder and Leah is intense. Reading her novels make me feel like I'm transported right back in time. It's like watching a very entertaining blockbuster movie. All I can say is I hope she never, ever stops writing her historical, romance novels. All her characters
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow.... this author never cease to amaze me. Another well written historical romance masterpiece. Ms. Jenkins has a gift and it is evident in her writings. If you like to read true to life characters historical romance books, read Ms. Jenkins earlier books. To name a few; Night Song, Topaz, Indigo, Vivid, Winds of the Storm, and Wild and Sweet Love, you won't be disappointed.
M.J. Friday
This is one of my all-time favorite Authors, Ms. Beverly Jenkins. I was never a lover of romance novels especial historical romance featuring African Americans as that was not a very good time in our history. This is the 1st romance and also the 1st historical romance I ever read, and I was a little skeptical, but gave it a try anyway & I was hooked from page 1. The story of Leah and Ryder, is my favorite romance and triggered my love for this genre. I have probably read about 10 times and I ...more
Dec 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Before The Dawn - if I have to say that I have a least favorite book by Ms. Jenkins this one is it. Not that it is a bad book but it gives me the creeps. This is the only book that I own by her that I have only read once but I remember everything about the story to this day and it came out 7 years ago. It is a good read but maybe too vivid for me.

Like all of her books I love them but as I stated above there is all kinds of craziness in this book that will keep your interest.
Marilyn Diamond
Once I started reading, I realized I have this book and read it many moons ago.. Still Leah and Ryder's story are worth re-reading over and over again. Having a Step-dad that raises and loves you and leaves you a fortune is the best. To travel the world and re-locate always comes with some difficultites. Leah had no idea she would pay the penalty for her step-dad's faults when she get's to Colorado. Love historical fiction.
Senora James
Great book! The characters were very well described and visible to the mind. The novel was filled with romance with a twist of mystery. I couldn't put it down. I reside in colorado. The time period described was interesting and peaked my curiosity. It was almost like stepping back in time in Colorado.
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
-Romance/Chemistry: Fell flat
-Mystery/Suspense element: Attention grabbing. I wished there was more since the chemisty between Leah and Ryder wasn't there in my opinion.
Kelly Murphy
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
OMG I am so in love. This book filled me with so many emotions. Beverly Jenkins smh words can not describe how much I loved this book. Ryder smh no comment lol
Nov 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
LOVED IT!!! I had to steal my book back from someone I loaned it too. They had the book forever and I'm not sure if they even read it. Oh, well.
Nazarene Static
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This woman makes everything great!!! Sidenote, I knew about Wounded Knee but never Sand Creek. wow!
I really liked this one due to Leah. At the start she took hit after hit, yet kept rolling, making the best of each situation as it came up. Ryder, often pissed me off the way he jumped to conclusions time and time again. I think had that happened only once or twice it won't have made me so angry, but it happened all the time and each time Leah forgave him, even as each time he wounded her more. When the things between the two of them were good, they were great for each other.

I also liked that
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Once again I feel blessed to be educated and entertained while entering the voyage into the past Beverly Jenkins takes me on. I think this is my favor of all of her books. The characters are so strong and easy to love or hate. The story line is so complex and yet once you read the facts so cleverly portrayed within the story you know you are reading history. You feel empathy for the plight of All groups who have suffered by those in a position of power. My prayer as we read her
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm convinced. Beverly Jenkins CANNOT write a bad book. I have read so many books in my lifetime, and some authors/works are worth a re-read. Thus far, every book that I've read of Beverly Jenkins is worth re-reading. What a blessed, and talented woman.
Angela Love
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It never fails

I’ve read this book four or five times throughout the years and every time, the excitement and anticipation remains at high levels til the very end! It’s like reading for the first time every time!
Joyce-Anne Anthony
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another great book by Beverly Jenkins!!
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: beverly-jenkins
Tiresome. Not a difficult mystery to solve.
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it
whew that ending!! over the top? yeah, possibly but it still had me reeling lol
Loved this book!!

One of my favorite authors. Another good one. ......., Really enjoyed this one. !!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love , mysteries and new memories. A grand slam. ...more
Nov 26, 2007 rated it it was ok
This book was really good in the beginning, but them somewhere in the middle it just sort of got dull. I truly loved the concept but the personalities of the main characters did not match the time period in my opinion. I don't know, there was just something off that made some of the situations unbelieveable to me. I mean in a time when blacks couldn't be served in the same restaurants as whites there exsits a black/native american man who is blatenly richer than most white men, and who deos ...more
I thought this book was "ok"...but many times, I was simply bored! I thought the story was a little farfetched. Ms. Jenkins had romance, mystery, history....maybe it was too much?

Tavern manager Leah Barnett can scarcely believe the path that destiny has chosen for her. Travelling from Boston to Colorado, Leah has come to face Ryder Damien, the son of her mother's recently deceased lover. Ryder, an angry, ruggedly sexy man, is incensed that this woman will inherit his father's
Aug 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014-reads
Very anachronistic in terms of characters' behavior, morals, dialogue and even the way some of the homes were designed/decorated. There were many implausible aspects to the story that went beyond suspending disbelief. There were many historical info-dumps that pulled me out of the story, because they didnt' flow naturally. Too many sex scenes and lust and not enough relationship development. The ending was over the top and ridiculous.

I just finished and enjoyed Destiny's Embrace by this author,
Rhapsody Phoenix
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this read Beverly does it again, she created a woman (Leah) powerful in her own right even when things didn't go quite as she would have liked, she held her ground and didn't shink away to lick her wounds and cry woe is me. I loved Ryder though i could slap him. I must at admit he is a excellent man flawed though he may be, it just made him all the more because he was able to own his stupidity and I loved his honesty.
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Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2018 Michigan Author Award by the Michigan Library Association, the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for historical romance. She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured in both the documentary Love Between the Covers and on CBS ...more