Customer Reviews for

Before the Scarlet Dawn (Daughters of the Potomac Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 30 )
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5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

I Hated and Loved this Book!

Before the Scarlet Dawn is a compelling story that is sure to strike a chord with anyone who reads it.

To be honest, I have a "love-hate" feeling for this novel. First of, I have to say that these characters were real. As a result, I want to believe that some of the...
Before the Scarlet Dawn is a compelling story that is sure to strike a chord with anyone who reads it.

To be honest, I have a "love-hate" feeling for this novel. First of, I have to say that these characters were real. As a result, I want to believe that some of their choices were drastically unbelievable. Yet the unbelievability is the very thing that makes these characters real.

While I struggled to accept the heat-of-the-moment choice that led to the main character's heartache by the end of the story as anything remotely believable, I can truly say that this story paints human nature in a very realistic sense. Again, it's that that very essence that makes these characters real.

I hated the ending. I absolutely hated it! It left me heartbroken and angry. After cooling off for a day, I had to go back and re-read the last portion of the novel again. This time, I could accept the ending. It was truly perfect. It showed redemption and mercy from God.

My initial impression of this novel was that is should only receive three stars. Aside from the fact that I found major choices unbelievable, I didn't like the how the main character didn't put up much of an initial fight for what she wanted. Her actions seemed almost too hopeful, and wishful, and way too trusting in God. She was even too complaint for my taste. While these are great qualities in a real-life person, they aren't ones I want at the outset of a character I'm reading about.

After several days, however, this story, these characters, and the feelings I experienced at the end of my first read, all continued to resonate. Without realizing it, this story had taken up residence in my heart.

This story will make one feel. Much like Liz Curtis Higgs' Lowlands of Scotland series, you are going to feel emotions that you don't like. But, you will feel, and you will feel intensely. For that very reason, this book gets four stars in my eyes. It accomplishes what a book is supposed to do--move the reader. And move me it did.

I do recommend Before the Scarlet Dawn. Just make sure you keep a box of tissues nearby. You'll sure need them. I'm eagerly awaiting the next story in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Abingdon Press, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

posted by Hollysmith on February 4, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

WWI Story

I was so excited about this book because it is set in the American Revolution and there aren't a lot of books written about that time period (unlike WWII). So I dove in with great anticipation and was introduced to an amazing character in Eliza. She is the kind of perso...
I was so excited about this book because it is set in the American Revolution and there aren't a lot of books written about that time period (unlike WWII). So I dove in with great anticipation and was introduced to an amazing character in Eliza. She is the kind of person that I would love to have as a friend and she shows that in the friendships she develops throughout the book. My issue was that I didn't like her husband... at all. I tried, but I just couldn't. That may have been the point but he didn't deserve her - at all. And then when the story could have been ripe in forgiveness and redemption, it wasn't and left me really disappointed. Rita Gerlach has an incredible gift for settings and characters - this particular storyline just didn't do anything for me personally, but I know others out there will probably love it.

posted by Janna6 on April 10, 2012

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  • Posted March 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Finally a book with an unpredictable ending!!! For once I have

    Finally a book with an unpredictable ending!!!

    For once I have read a book that I could not predict how it would end. Usually once a story presents itself you can kinda of figure out the logistics of how it will end but not in Before The Scarlet Dawn by Rita Gerlach.

    In this wonderful historical novel set in the 1775 first in Derbyshire, England we find our main character Eliza Bloome who is caring for her ailing father, the vicar of the church there. While he lays dying he receives a letter from a man named Mr. Langbourne, who wishes to marry Eliza so that she will not fall into poverty once he passes away. However Eliza wishes to marry for love only not for financial security. So when he father passes away, she is given one week to vacate the church property and find other living arrangements.

    While riding through the country side one day, she happens upon a childhood friend, Hayward Morgan, the son of a wealthy family and wonders if perhaps he is interested in marriage. When he tells her he is not but that she might find work among his family's household in Havendale, she decides to try to find work there otherwise she will be homeless.

    Upon arriving in Havendale, she overhears Hayward proposes to a well-to-do lady named Lilith Marsden who has her eyes set on Hayward's future inheritance, but when she learns that the marriage will involve leaving England and heading for property he has acquired in Maryland, she refuses. Now Eliza offers Hayward one more opportunity to propose marriage and move with him to Maryland to which he accepts, under the condition that Eliza understands, he does not love her.

    Moving to River Run in the Maryland, Eliza and her maid, Fiona will have to endure the life of learning to live in frontier, but as long as Eliza has Hayward, she is convinced God will show Hayward's heart that love is possible. Only now that the Revolutionary War draws near, Hayward's only desire is to fight against the British even if it means leaving his wife to fend for herself. Will Eliza ever truly find love or will God have a different answer in mind for her prayers?

    I received Before The Scarlet Dawn compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and LOVED it. I couldn't put it down til I knew how it would end and I believe, I have to wait for the next book. I was not disappointed that Eliza's conflict was not resolved and for once applaud the author who takes a great storyline, and carefully takes the reader by the hand and walks through it with them, not rushing to come to a hasty conclusion. This is the reason why I love this book. It's completely unpredictable at some points and that kept me entertained and engaged. I'm not sure I could deal with all life handed Eliza in this story and she has more strength that I could ever imagine. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and anxiously wait her sequel to this story. This is the first book in the Daughters of the Potomac Series!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Hated and Loved this Book!

    Before the Scarlet Dawn is a compelling story that is sure to strike a chord with anyone who reads it.

    To be honest, I have a "love-hate" feeling for this novel. First of, I have to say that these characters were real. As a result, I want to believe that some of their choices were drastically unbelievable. Yet the unbelievability is the very thing that makes these characters real.

    While I struggled to accept the heat-of-the-moment choice that led to the main character's heartache by the end of the story as anything remotely believable, I can truly say that this story paints human nature in a very realistic sense. Again, it's that that very essence that makes these characters real.

    I hated the ending. I absolutely hated it! It left me heartbroken and angry. After cooling off for a day, I had to go back and re-read the last portion of the novel again. This time, I could accept the ending. It was truly perfect. It showed redemption and mercy from God.

    My initial impression of this novel was that is should only receive three stars. Aside from the fact that I found major choices unbelievable, I didn't like the how the main character didn't put up much of an initial fight for what she wanted. Her actions seemed almost too hopeful, and wishful, and way too trusting in God. She was even too complaint for my taste. While these are great qualities in a real-life person, they aren't ones I want at the outset of a character I'm reading about.

    After several days, however, this story, these characters, and the feelings I experienced at the end of my first read, all continued to resonate. Without realizing it, this story had taken up residence in my heart.

    This story will make one feel. Much like Liz Curtis Higgs' Lowlands of Scotland series, you are going to feel emotions that you don't like. But, you will feel, and you will feel intensely. For that very reason, this book gets four stars in my eyes. It accomplishes what a book is supposed to do--move the reader. And move me it did.

    I do recommend Before the Scarlet Dawn. Just make sure you keep a box of tissues nearby. You'll sure need them. I'm eagerly awaiting the next story in this series.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Abingdon Press, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Loved this book...

    The first book I've read by this author, and I couldn't put it down. The romance aspect is a bit under-developed, but the time warrants some of that. Gerlach's characters are interesting and engaging. The time period is the American revolution, and I always enjoy that era and setting. I am reading the next book in this series already and really like that one as well!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2012

    Highly recommended

    It kept me reading. I loved the heroine and I felt so sorry for her. You will cry. I can't for the 2nd one and I hope it continues the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Heartwrenching

    Eliza has a heart for God and wants only to be loved by a man with the same heart. Hayward is the man of her desires to be loved by him and to be told those three little words most women want to hear above all others(I loveyou). Why is it so hard to say if that is what's in your heart? But with war in his mond first he leaves her for over four years without word. And when the only word she does receives is that he is dead she cercomes to a bad choice and result is in a child by a man that has been trying to capture her heart.

    Hayward returns to a wife he a can't forgive and send het away with decict in his on actions. He forbides Eliza to ever see thier daughter without the treat of putting her in jail.

    Back in England she find redemption in an old freind

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Wonderful

    Wonderful book, sad times and great strength & Faith... Highly Reccomended

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2012

    I could not put it down! The story drew me in, and held my atte

    I could not put it down! The story drew me in, and held my attention until the very last word. Not very often do I come across a book like this. I think every woman can identify to some extent with Eliza and her struggles. Surprisingly, I did not expect the ending, but liked it for that very reason. When I finished reading the book at 2am, all I could do was go kiss my babies asleep across the hall! Eagerly awaiting the next book. It can't come quick enough!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013

    Very unpredictable ending! This is the first I have read from t

    Very unpredictable ending! This is the first I have read from this author and I was not disappointed. I do however hope that this is a series of books. Would love to see where Eliza ends up, and if she is reunited with her family again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2013

    Read meeee

    To the ppl who said it was sad well im sorry but realisticly not every story will have a happy ending bc the world is cruel and brutal. In life there will be strughles and things we have to work for and there is no way around it. It must habe been hrd fpr this heroine if she was living and this happened but not every story will be all rainbows sunshine and unicorns. Even thought was dont live th time we will all struggle in life. So if this wasnt your type well its not your type but give the author a chance. I havent read ot yet but the comments hav bothered me at how out of reality ppl are. Im 11 but i remember age is a number
    † my favorite quote~there is no rose without thorns †

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Liked it

    I really liked this book. The actions & feelings of the characters were so real! At times I didn't care much for certain main characters and some choices they made and feelings they had, but that made me like it all the more. I loved that this was not a cookie cutter pattern book. 5 star rating for all the twist & turns in this well written book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2012

    Sblack

    This story was so captivating! Please hury and release the
    next book in this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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