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Before the Dawn

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  906 ratings  ·  63 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 be ...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
 ·  906 ratings  ·  63 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! ...more
Jerrika Rhone
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
70% Done: BJ knows how to write the heck out of a villain.

90% Done: Ryder is obnoxious. His constant waffling is such a huge turnoff. I made it hard for me to finish.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bj
Jenkins never disappoint
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 agree
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 th ...more
Jamie (TheRebelliousReader)
4 stars. This book has my least favorite Beverly Jenkins hero to date but the rest of the book was so damn good that I’m gonna let his sorry ass slide.

Seriously, everything about Ryder was such a turn off personality wise. He jumped to conclusions over literally everything and then he would run off and throw tantrums. That shit is not cute and he never grew on me therefore I didn’t believe in his and Leah’s love story. He was easily the worst thing about this book for me besides the villain. I
I quite liked this though I greatly disliked the manufactured way this was plotted.
I just love BJ🥰
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 are un
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 triumph ...more
Leah and Ryder’s tangled romance was spicy and emotional! With a bit of mystery, nefarious characters, and some painful, vulnerable layers to peel, this was a great read!
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. ...more
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 sti ...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. ...more
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. ...more
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. ...more
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
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!
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Leah, the female main character, has been put through the ringer. She has lost important people in her life since childhood and is on the verge of losing her mother's long-time love and companion, Monty. To ensure that she is taken care of, she agrees to marry Monty to inherit his land and money. Since Monty never married her mother, there were little options remaining to make sure she inherited. Simple enough, right? Not quite.

Traveling from MA to CO in an attempt to settle her newly
ATH Journal
Leah Barnett married her mother’s lover, Louis Montague. Louis Montague was like a father to Leah and he truly loved her, and she loved him. Considering she never knew her real father, Louis was the only man in her life that she would consider a father. After her mother’s death and Louis became terminally ill, the only way he could make sure Leah was taken care of financially after his death was to marry her on his death bed. Because he had never married Leah’s mother or adopted Leah, at this ti ...more
Chanel Sharp
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, old, 2020, historical
Mom and I read this book for a 24hr Read-a-thon and mom got sick, so what a read-a-thon it was.
Mom and I started listening and released this book had some amazing food descriptions. We both know that this maybe a bit of topic for a romance book, but it brought back some nostalgia for mom because the descriptions of the food reminded mom a lot of the Nancy Drew mom used to listen to growing up and how they would talk about the amazing meals that the girl detective would sit down to eat.
The story
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this American Historical Romance. In my eyes, Beverly Jenkins can do no wrong and this historical is entertaining, dramatic, steamy, filled with histories from the perspective of indigenous people and minorities that should never be forgotten because they are so important and need to be honoured. But Ms Bev is not just one for historical fact, she also writes the most kickbutt heroines and the most compelling heroes and stories with a lot of heart and conflicts that are rarely c ...more
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 L
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 wonder
Elsie Thompson
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Beverly Jenkins's storylines, as they are relative and believable. The main characters always give me insight on issues that are needed to navigate life. This book was no exception, and I couldn't put it down. I never would have guessed the murderess as it turned out. I recommend this book to anyone interested in romantic, adventurous storylines, with a historic flavor. Thanks! Kudos, to the author. ...more
Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard
Leah is a character after my own heart. She is not a wilting 🥀. She means what she says and has the intelligence of a survivor. It kicks in when there is a will to live and makes the book a pure pleasure to read. Then comes the romance. Jenkins at her best! The scenes are hot and the words are steaming off the pages. One thing about a book is that when beauty is described, your minds eye lets you create your own version of magnificence and when it comes to Ryder the mind can have a field day. Th ...more
Letta Raven
I wanted to love this one but it was so centered in the men, how they related to each other and what Leah meant to them that was a real struggle. Even bearing in mind the time period it was a bit much. Ryder repeatedly questions her on everything but her beauty and that felt like bs.

By the time we actually find out who the murderer is the book is nearly over so the whole scene almost feels like an afterthought. It's also more disturbing than I'm used to from this author. All in all, not my fave.
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!
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. ...more
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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

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