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Before the Storm

(Rarity Cove #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  353 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Six years earlier, Trina Grissom disappeared, on the run for her life. Now living under an assumed identity—as Samantha Marsh—she still struggles with the dark secret she harbors and the fear she might one day be found. When she moves to the coastal town of Rarity Cove, South Carolina, to open a café, a handsome widower begins to chip away at the walls she’s built to ...more
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published October 20th 2015 by Left Field Press
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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2 stars. DNF @49%. Review posted September 19, 2015.

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I liked the cover and the premise of Before the Storm. I also thought it started off rather decent but, unfortunately, took a turn into boring no-man's-land fast.

"Just tell me you'll think about slowing things down."
"There's nothing to slow down."

Seriously. It was extremely slow already. If they had slowed things down even more, they would have come to a standstill.

I love me a slow-burning romance, but give me at least some sizzling hot

Samantha Marsh ran from her old life six years ago and completely reinvented herself. She's a chef and owns a gourmet café in Rarity Cove, South Carolina. When hotel owner Mark St. Clair and his adorable daughter happen into her life, she resists what may be the relationship she's always dreamed of, for their sakes. Fear of her past coming back to haunt them is the basis for that resistance but Mark's persistence takes her under.

I really loved this story starting with the beautiful cover, which
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Barclay Publicity and NetGalley.)

“When she closed her eyes, she was back in that Memphis apartment again – shivering, shards of cobalt glass around her, her hands stained with blood.”

This was an okay adult contemporary romance, but the pace was a little slow for me.

I felt quite sorry for Mark in the way he was struggling to raise his daughter after his wife’s death, but I found it a little bit
Judy Collins
Top 50 Books of 2015. "Best New Romantic Suspense Series."

Talented Leslie Tentler returns following her smashing crime thriller, Fallen, landing on my Top 30 Book List of 2014, with a riveting new series, (Rarity Cove #1), set in a small coastal southern resort town on the outskirts of Charleston, SC — in Rarity Cove with BEFORE THE STORM.

A solid drama, from deep human emotions, mystery, danger, crime, and romantic suspense rolled into page–turner, as the past rears its ugly head, at
Anne OK
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
This go-round we get something a little different from one of my favorite romantic suspense authors. Under a new identity, Samantha Marsh tries to escape the mistakes of her past in a new place. Mark St. Clair is a single dad raising his small daughter and running the family business. Both of these characters have resisted any romantic involvements – until Samantha arrives in Rarity Cove. The romance and suspense are well blended.

Of course, secrets never stay hidden and the past eventually finds
Linda Strong
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Leslie Tentler is not a new author to me. I have read her Chasing Evil series. I knew what I would find with her latest book... and I wasn't disappointed.

Samantha has a secret. Samantha isn't even her real name and she's been on the run for 7 years. She has a secret past .. and she left a dead man behind, taking with her only an old ragged teddy bear that was given to her as a child and her mother's cameo locket.

Mark is a good looking widower with a 4 year old daughter to take care of. His
I started this book and somewhere along the way I lost interest but most likely is that I realised that this is a common plot and has been done a thousand times. I need something new to keep me entertained because that is why I read. DNF 32% this book was on hold to begin with so I guess it was just a matter of term.

Please note this is is my personal opinion. It might be a unpopular review but I can't change it.

Book given in exchange for an honest review from Barclay Publicity via Netgalley.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 Stars... Tentler writes excellent romantic suspense, and this is no exception. Samantha and Mark are a very likable couple. Throw in a tortured past, some evil bad guys, and a hurricane, and you've got a recipe for a good read!
Emmeline (The Book Herald)
I kindly receive this ARC from Barclay Publicity, Left Field Press via NG in return for an honest review!

Rating- 4.5 stars

"Devin had the smile of a snake, and his lean, hard frame appeared ready to strike. Trina already knew the full extent of his bite. His poison."

My goodness! This book was awesome but so suspenseful I scarcely could breathe! Alright, alright, let's hope straight to the plot!

Trina Grissom died 6 years ago, Samantha Marsh was born.
On the run, hopeless yet hopeful, fearful
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Plot: 4/5
Characterisation: 3/5
Prose: 3/5
How much I enjoyed it: 4/5
Catherine (The Sassy Bookster)
I absolutely love BEFORE THE STORM! It's well written, with an engaging plot, suspenseful and will have you experiencing a variety of emotions - from anticipation to terror and everything in between - alongside the characters!

Samantha Marsh has not had an easy life but Rarity Cove, South Carolina is her chance to start over and make something of her life, and her business Café Bella is it. Her secrets are so dangerous and sordid that she has chosen a lifetime of solitude over dragging any man
Before The Storm is an impeccably written romantic suspense novel with a good mix of love story and thriller.
Samantha aka Trina has recently opened a little shop in South Carolina where she lives under an assumed identity after escaping a harrowing ordeal. She meets and falls for Mark, a widower with a young daughter who hasn't spoken since her mother died in a car crash. Both cautious due to their pasts and their responsibilities, Samantha and Mark slowly establish a relationship, but then
Crina (Reading Addict)
Dec 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
Romance, thriller, mystery, hm. I enjoy these genres, especially thriller and mystery, but I have expectations too. And in this case I was disappointed and after 28% I fell asleep on my kindle... after my eyeballs rolled so hard that they rolled under the bed.

How can you say that a slow placed book like this, with flat characters, that are so cliche and common, with a writing style that is boring and wooden, with a plot so cliche and boring is mystery thriller. How?! Is not even a cosy and
Sep 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-to-review
(I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)

I felt quite sorry for both Samantha and Mark in this. Mark was going through a lot, and Samantha went through life looking over her shoulder, which can't have been nice.

This was an okay read, but I found the pacing to be slow, so the story dragged at times.

Overall, An okay read.
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was interesting and enjoyable. I thought the characters were interesting. The storylines where romance mixed with mystery. I though Samantha's backstory was very sad and I am glad things worked out for her in the end.
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My review for this will be posted on my blog at as part of the Blog Tour promotion for this book. I'll copy it here after that!
With the slow start and some over-dramatic moments between characters throughout the beginning of the book, I had started getting wary of how the rest of the story would play out. There was the potential for a love triangle, a frustratingly childish sibling rivalry, and one of those rich and snooty high society mothers who is just mean because she can be.

Meanwhile, most of the book felt a little dragged out since the main suspense conflict was simply floating around in the background. We spend a
All of my reviews can be found on

An eminently readable novel, "Before the storm" is a compelling romantic suspense novel in the vein of Carla Neggers, Linda Howard and the like.As many of my followers know, I’m not a huge fan of romance. Although quite formulaic, this novel DID hold my interest to the end. I guess I just wanted to read the ‘happily ever after’ for myself. I believe (from my many years of working in a public library) that this book will be
The BookWhisperer
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Before the Storm was a story about second chances. After such a horrible start at life Trina (Samantha) found a way out. Her acts for survival were commendable, and her drive to create a better life even more so. Really for the most part this story is loving the easy and normal life while making the most out of what you have. With some danger and more bravery to wrap it up. It was enjoyable although from the book description I it was not really what I expected. Good for an ease lovable read.

Rose Blue
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reviewed at Roses Are Blue:

At seventeen years old, orphaned Trina Grissom has had enough of her cruel grandmother’s abuse and runs away. While Trina may have escaped her grandmother, she has no means of support, and finds herself on the street, hungry and alone. When Devin Leary takes her in, feeds her, and lets her sleep on his couch, she thinks she’s found a hero. However, it isn’t long before she’s sleeping in his bed, dancing at his strip club, and enduring his
Oct 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book left me incredibly conflicted. I couldn’t stop reading it, it was less than 24 hours, but, I’m not sure what the last book was that I had so many problems with. I leave annotations when I find issues, I actually had to stop at one point because there was just so many. It was a cute romance and the characters were likeable enough; it’s a great fluffy little romance to wrap up yourself up in with a blanket and tea on a cool autumn night. I think this book is good for its targeted ...more
Danielle  Gypsy Soul
Before the Storm is the first Book in Lenslie Tentler's Rarity Cove. I have previously read her Chasing Evil books and like her writing style. However, this book is quite different from her Chasing Evil books. I still liked the book but it was a much slower paced book.

This book centers around Samantha who ran from her previous life and created a whole new identity to escape her past and a secret that could destroy her whole life. She opens a cafe in Rarity Cove and while she may be a little
Mignon Mykel
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Received a copy of the title in exchange for an honest review.

Let me get the pun out of the way: This book took me by storm.

Ok, now that that's done.

I had a feeling I'd like this book. One, I loved the cover. I think it's dark, broody, and quite frankly, gorgeous. It's a little bit different (ok, a whole gender different) than typical romance books but I was drawn to the cover from the moment I saw it.

Now, there can be bad books with pretty covers, but this was not the case. As this was my first
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read the full review on Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous.

Note: This ARC was provided by Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

Before the Storm is a romantic suspense novel from author Leslie Tentler and is set in the fictional coastal town of Rarity Cove in South Carolina. Trina Grissom is a woman who thinks she has escaped her tortuous past by creating a totally new identity for herself. As Samantha Marsh, she's living the kind of life that she's dreamed of for years. Falling in love
Romance Readers Retreat
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
WOW! This book had me hooked from the start and wanting to know what the hell was going to happen. The story is told from Trina Grissom aka Samantha's POV and Mark and a few others have a chapter in there. Sam has had a hard life and you get to understand why she changed her name and disappeared from the first page and from then it flows well through the whole book. She is a great main female lead and Mark is strong but serious, he's a St Clair, a well known family in the small town that Sam ...more
The new life that Samantha Marsh has built for herself in an attempt to erase her violent past is threatened when she draws the attention of Mark St. Clair, a widower with a young daughter. Unaccepting of Samantha's initial rejection of their growing connection, Mark pushes for more, until he realises that the truth is more than he can handle, just as Samantha's past catches up with her.

Before the Storm is classic Leslie Tentler: written with a measured tone and believable characters who ache
Cathy Geha
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
The past, secrets, fears and reservations play a big part in this story. Samantha and Mark feel attraction for one another from their first meeting but with the pasts they both have are not willing to move forward easily or quickly. There is hesitation and family interference along with personal indecision to contend with. Add to this some very bad characters and a hurricane and the plot thickens. I enjoyed the story, though it is somewhat familiar, and would like to say it was very well written ...more
❤️Melanie G.
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Via Netgalley for honest review.

I loved Mark and Samantha. Each running from their past and trying to live day by day. The suspense in this story keeps your attention and the love story keeps your heart on edge. My only disappointment with this book was lack of sexiness, lust and hunger from Mark and Sam. Also loved how Luther protected Sam. Good read and totally recommend.
EroticaAfterDark (Lilith)
Absolutely not interested in this possible snoozefest.
Saved by Baba. Here's the review.
Laura Johnson
Good romantic suspense. Solid plot and character development. Kept me on the edge of my seat. If you like romantic suspense novels then I think you will enjoy this one.
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Leslie Tentler is the author of seven novels, including the Rarity Cove series (BEFORE THE STORM, LOW TIDE, and IN DARK WATER), FALLEN, and the Chasing Evil Trilogy (MIDNIGHT CALLER, MIDNIGHT FEAR, and EDGE OF MIDNIGHT). She was a finalist for Best First Novel at ThrillerFest 2012, and is a two-time finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense. She is also the ...more

Other books in the series

Rarity Cove (3 books)
  • Low Tide (Rarity Cove, #2)
  • In Dark Water (Rarity Cove, #3)