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Before I Knew (The Cabots, #1)
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Before I Knew

(The Cabots #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  13,297 ratings  ·  590 reviews

Author Jamie Beck returns with an engrossing series about family, friendship, and starting over. In this first Cabot novel, a legacy of secrets tests old friends seeking a second chance at life and love.

On the second anniversary of her husband’s suicide, Colby Cabot-Baxter is ready to let go of her grief and the mistakes made during her turbulent marriage. Her fresh st

Kindle Edition, 354 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by Montlake Romance
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,297 ratings  ·  590 reviews

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Jacob Proffitt
This book contains everything you need to know to build a lasting relationship. Just take everything the characters do, and don't do that. I finished this with equal parts masochism and delight. I'm ashamed to admit that the delight was anticipation of being able to vent my wrath on a deserving target. I don't like what that says about me, so I'm rethinking how much vitriol I want to indulge.

Colby and Alec spend the entire novel vying for biggest idiot. Whether it's Colby interfering with his r
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: physical-arcs
Before I Knew is the first in a new series following the Cabot family. It’s billed as a romance and it most certainly is, but this wasn’t the lighthearted read I was expecting it to be and unfortunately I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped because of this. I like to escape with a romance as a break from the dark thrillers that make up the majority of my TBR and since much of this one deals with heavy, depressing topics it wasn’t quite the break I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, it was well ...more
I need to read a good book, I am STARVING.

I downloaded this book on Kindle Unlimited because I saw it come up on my discover page and I decided to try something new. A new to me author in a cover style that seems more women's fiction than the usual indie romance books I read.

As the top review for this book says, "This book contains everything you need to know to build a lasting relationship. Just take everything the characters do, and don't do that." Unfortunately unlike them, I wasn't reading
The Cabot and the Morgans were friends and neighbours for thirty years until a stupid dare left Joe Morgan dead, shortly afterwards Colby Cabot's husband Mark killed himself over his part in the dare, devastated by his role in the death of his best friend and unable to deal with the guilt. Mark was bi-polar and Colby suffers from the knowledge that she kept his diagnosis from her family, she also worries that his illness may have been a contributing factor to the dare that led to Joe's death.

Ashley Drumm
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jamie-beck
Some romance story’s are so cheesy but wow this one was so good. Had me laughing, gave me tears in my eyes! Reached all the way down to my soul. I highly recommend this series. This book would make an amazing movie! Hint hint..
Bette Hansen
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic first book in a brand new series. It's highly emotional and deals with issues that arise a horrible tragedy strikes. Colby Cabot Baxter and Alec Morgan's lives were both changed by the tragedy but now they are both looking for fresh starts. Their journey to happiness is painful and emotional and the past needs to be dealt with. It can't be until all the secrets are revealed. Will they be brave enough to face the past in order to have a future??

Definitely a book I recommend to ev
Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog)
Here I go again, in the minority about a story. Unfortunately, Before I Knew just didn't do it for me. It was so heavy, such a downer that I couldn't find my way through to the end with any kind of joy, any kind of excitement, any kind of anything positive. It's not horribly written or anything, it's just that it's such a dreary, down on themselves kind of story that I could not connect with it or any of the characters.

Colby has lost her husband to suicide. Right before that, they both lost a go
vicki zimmerman
Sep 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
Waaaay too much

I hate dropping a story midway through. I always try to stick with it til the bitter end, no matter what.
I made an exception in this case.
Before I Knew, is apparently part of a series. Not wanting to offend any hardcover fans, let me just say, for me, this book is not worth the time it takes to read. Over 5 hours is, to me, way and above too long for a simple romance. Way too much back and forth, and round and round, in what should have been a simple romance. It was like the thin
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Meh...everyone was such a victim. I have no plans to continue with the series.
4 Heartfelt Stars

Before I Knew by Jamie Beck was an emotional and heartfelt read.

They storyline was well written, it was easy to follow and hard to put down.
Watching Colby and Alec come together was both heartwarming and painful.
They both had painful pasts that they needed to deal with so they could find true happiness.
These two were easy to love and I really enjoyed reading their story.


Before I Knew is a lovely start to the Cabot Series by Jamie Beck, looking forward to Hunter and Sara's book
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Jamie Beck Fans, Romance

3 Complicated Stars
* * *
Wow... This was a lot to take in.
We have two families who are on opposite sides of a serious tragedy. This main issue colors everything and everyone.

After us learning this multi-layered tragedy involving so many, we are set up for the main part of the story...

The goal for our gal is to make the restaurant she has worked so hard to be a reality... the best it can be. Unfortunately, that means the money partner brings in a chef who is part of this family complication and
Jeanne Felfe
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Before I Knew was my companion on a recent airline trip and thank goodness. The time flew as I did.

I thoroughly enjoyed this realistic love story. Lately I've been turned off by the plethora of so-called romance books where the sex is more important than the relationship. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Before I Knew dove into the relationship head-long and kept it interesting from start to finish. There was just enough sexual tension to give it a kick, but there was nothing explicit. I
All about loss, redemption, and forgiveness... and finding love with an old friend.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jamie Beck has a style of writing that always draws you in to the dynamics of a family making you their own personal cheerleader. Before I Knew lays the foundation of the Cabot series which will provide lots love, heartbreak, drama, and hopefully healing.

Two years after the tragic loss of Joe Morgan and Mark Baxter, the gaping whole remains in both the Morgan and Cabot families. Secrets held by both Mark's wife, Colby Cabot-Baxter and Joe's brother, Alec Morgan, are bound to come to light after
Karen Jones
Jul 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was one of the worst books I've read in a long time! It was so repetitive and boring. I get that the characters felt guilty, I would too, although we all know other's actions are not our fault. It's just human nature. And this story could have been so much better. But the author just kept dragging out the "woe me...I feel guilty...." card. We got it!! Move on with the story, let the guilt be a background distraction.
To make matters worse, I didn't even like the characters. Colby was a doorm
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this romance and look forward to reading more by this author.

I borrowed this in audiobook format through Amazon Kindle Unlimited.
Book Lover
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
The Morgans and Cabots live next door to each other. Joe Morgan and Colby Cabot were best friends growing up. When Colby married Mark Baxter, Joe welcomed him with opened arms and the three spent a lot of time together. When Joe died after a dare issued by Mark, it tore the families apart. Mark, dealing with issues of his own, feeling overwhelmed with guilt, commits suicide.

Fast-forward two years. Colby is still reeling from the past. Her marriage wasn’t what it seemed. She’s been practicing la
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book from BookSparks for an honest review. After reading and enjoying a lot of suspense books lately I was ready for a change. Before I Knew came along at the right time. Colby was widowed two years ago and is now ready to move on from her grief and start some new ventures in her life. She has decided to open a restaurant and her childhood friend Alec has been hired as the new chef. Alec is also ready to make changes in his life. His brother Joe died just over two ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: t
Well, this was lovely.

We have Colby and Alec, they’ve known each other for years, but sadly they are torn apart because of some horrible tragedies. My heart really hurt for these two, they were in such a difficult situation, so much that it held them back from moving on, even with each other.

I felt it was great they were both willing to move on from that tragedy and I hated Alec’s dad for not allowing him to do that. I get the grief, but that man was awful, just wanting everyone to hurt like him
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, montlake
Before I knew is an emotional story about loss and starting over. It has been two years since Colby Cabot-Baxter watched her husband, Mark commit suicide. She is ready for a new start with opening a new restaurant. Her old friend Alec Morgan is dealing with his own regrets about his part in both his brother's accident and Mark's suicide. He is now getting a second chance at making amends with Colby, his family and his reputation as an award-winning chef.

The story was well written and the charact
Oct 20, 2021 rated it it was ok
Profoundly irritating main characters
Kate Kingsbury
Mar 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Very much a downer. Maybe it's me, but I read to be uplifted. This didn't do it. ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Before I Knew: The Cabots Book 1 is by Jamie Beck. This book deals with the aftermath of an accidental death and a suicide. How families deal with each is something that needs to be looked at. No family reacts in the same way. It also deals with bipolar disorder.
Colby Cabot-Baxter has had a rough two years. First, her husband, Mark, and her best friend, Joe, had gone on a hike near Lake Sandy, Oregon. For some reason, Mark dared Joe to jump off a cliff and he took the dare and was killed. Joe h
Jamie Beck is one of my favourite authors, and I'm always excited when she brings out a new book. Before I knew is the start of a new series, The Cabots.

Books dealing with grief are not my favourite, especially when it is one of the main themes in a story. However, with this said I still enjoyed this book. It has a lot going on, and the story was really interesting.

Colby Cabot-Baxter lost her husband 2 years ago and has never recovered. It's not because he was the love of her life, or she can't
I want to thank Jamie Beck, author and Goodreads First Reads Giveaway for my eBook copy of Before I Knew that I won in the Giveaway.

Before I Knew is an emotional romance that deals with family left after a tragic accidental death and then another family member taking his life. It has been two year since Colby Cabot-Baxter watched her husband commit suicide and she is taking positive steps to change her life and move on with the opening of A Certain Tea, a new restaurant. Alec Morgan is dealing w
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
BEFORE I KNEW is an exceptional first book in Jamie Beck's new series THE CABOT'S. I was heartbroken before the end of chapter one and relished my heart being mended as Ms Beck wove her magic throughout the remainder of the story.

Jamie Beck has a knack for being able to pull a reader into her stories with potent plot lines and magnificently strong, yet flawed characters. These characteristics are certainly present in BEFORE I KNEW and each enhances the story and allows for readers to be totally
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

An emotional and heart wrenching story from the first page to the last. Ms. Beck brought together well developed characters that told a story in a heartfelt and compelling manner.

The character of Colby is one of a woman trying to find her place in the world after the tragic death of one of her closest childhood friends and her husband's suicide. Her emotional state is fragile at the beginning but you can see her slowly r
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Before I Knew is the first book in the Cabot series. It is also the first book I have read by Jamie Beck. It will not be the last. Beck’s complex characters and perfectly paced, layered plot made this an excellent read. Colby and Alec are likeable characters, credibly flawed and dealing with wounds inflicted by people they love. These are characters in whom I believe and for whom I root without reservation. Their story is one of the best contemporary friends-to-lovers stories I’ve read
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I greatly enjoyed reading this book, especially as a beach read of which it was perfect for. The writing style was great and the plot moved along at a good clip. I'm a sucker for long-pined for romances so this was very easy for me to get into.

The story was clearly present day but the exact dates didn't weigh on the plotline and I liked that I could read it and be completely absorbed in it without wondering about dates. It just didn't matter. So with that being said my biggest issue with it was
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Standing Ovation

I confess I read other reviews before I read this book and was nervous before opening the first chapter. I am a fan of Ms. Beck's books and writing style and while this book was a different storyline approach for her, she did an excellent job in writing this couple's story. Just because a story involves two people struggling with shared bad memories it does not make the book a bad read. I did not feel weighed down by the storyline and characters and found the book hard to put dow
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Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than three million cop

Other books in the series

The Cabots (3 books)
  • All We Knew (The Cabots, #2)
  • When You Knew (The Cabots, #3)

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