Before the Dawn [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 before him in the flesh -- proud, vulnerable, and intoxicatingly lovely -- desire replaces hatred in Ryder's heart. Yet can passion survive this ...

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Before the Dawn

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Overview

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 before him in the flesh -- proud, vulnerable, and intoxicatingly lovely -- desire replaces hatred in Ryder's heart. Yet can passion survive this wild land and its dangerous men...and the most breathtaking peril: untamed love?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061737671
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 85,624
  • File size: 491 KB

Meet the Author

Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins has received numerous awards, including five Waldenbooks/Borders Group Best Sellers Awards, two Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times Magazine, and a Golden Pen Award from the Black Writer's Guild. Ms. Jenkins was named one of the Top Fifty Favorite African-American writers of the 20th century by AABLC, the nation's largest on-line African-American book club. She was recently nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature.

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Read an Excerpt

Before the Dawn

Chapter One

Ryder Damien's black eyes glowed with grim satisfaction as he read the wire informing him that his father, was dying. So, the old man's finally getting his due, he thought. Hope Satan makes the pit nice and hot.

Hardly the expected filial response, but Ryder hadn't seen his father in thirty years. He tossed the telegram onto his desk and walked over to the windows that looked out on the world from the second-floor office of the Damien Mining Company. According to the calendar, spring was coming, but you couldn't tell by all the snow on the mountains. The Colorado mountains never surrendered to warmer weather without a good fight, and this year proved to be no exception. Ryder hoped that by concentrating on something else, the news about his father would fade from his mind, but as much as he disliked admitting it, thoughts of Louis Montague wouldn't leave him alone. Why make contact now, after all these years? With all the suffering Ryder had been forced to endure, surely Louis didn't believe he'd come running to his deathbed, mouthing absolutions?

Ryder turned from the window and went back to his desk.

Thirty-two-year-old Leah Barnett moved slowly through the nearly deserted tavern, collecting the last of the empty mugs and tankards. Her day at the Black Swan had begun at dawn, and now that night had fallen, she didn't know which felt wearier, her body or her feet. She looked over at the last of the regulars seated at one of the dark wood tables, and called out, "Tom, you should be getting on home now.Don't want the wife to have to come get you again."

Tom Pollard met Leah's frank dark eyes, then hung hishead sheepishly. His wife, Bess, had paid a visit to the Swan four nights ago, and it hadn't been a pretty affair. Bess Pollard towered over her elderly husband by a good six inches, and she'd issued such a blistering lecture on demon rum and familial responsibility that every man in the place had gotten up and slunk home. Leah hadn't been pleased watching the night's profits go streaming out the doors, but witnessing the look of fear on Tom's face when his wife blew in like a November gale had almost been worth the loss. Leah had been telling him for months that he should be spending more time with his young bride and less time with his cronies playing dominoes and backgammon.

In response to Leah's warning, Tom shuffled to his feet and put on his coat, saying, "Caught a lot of ribbing about that. Don't want it to happen again." The slight sway in his old legs interfered with his attempts to fasten his coat buttons. "How's Monty doing?"

"Doctor says it won't be long," she responded sadly.

Louis Montague, her mother's lifelong companion, lay upstairs in his bed, dying. "I'm going up to check on him as soon as I'm done here."

"Well, you want me to stay until you lock up?"

Leah smiled tiredly in reply. Tom had been coming to the Swan since she'd been tall enough to see over the tables, and she appreciated his concern, "No, Tom. I'll be fine. You go on. I'll see you tomorrow."

He nodded and headed out into the early-April night.His exit left Leah alone, and she went back to cleaning up. Usually she savored the silence that settled over the place after locking up, but not tonight. Tonight her thoughts were heavy with Monty's fate.

Last April, the death of Leah's British-born mother, Reba, had broken Leah's heart. Now, Monty lay at death's door, too. Leah's world had always included the two of them, and she couldn't envision a future devoid of their presence and love.

The Black Swan had been passed down to her upon Reba's death, and Leah supposed she'd spend the rest of her life there, washing tankards and hauling in kegs. At the advanced old age of thirty-two she stood little chance of snagging a husband and having children, so she'd stopped hoping long ago. She'd also stopped wanting to see the world and its many wonders; women of her ilk weren't destined for such things. She'd been born in the Swan and would undoubtedly die in the Swan, just as her mother had.

The small drinking establishment, with its sturdy wooden tables and packed-earth floor, would provide her a frugal life at best. One of the few remaining coastline taverns that catered to Black British seamen, it turned enough profit to pay bills and buy necessities, but nothing more. Unlike her old friend Adele Sears, who'd married well and constantly ordered new gowns in order to rub shoulders with Boston's Black elite, Leah had to make due with gowns that had seen better days and shoes with pasteboard in them to cover the holes in the soles. Granted, because she had a way with numbers, Leah earned a few extra coins balancing the ledgers of some of the other businesses on the waterfront, but that went to pay the salaries of her two employees: a bartender and a waitress.

Done with the washing and sweeping, Leah checked the door's bolts, doused the tavern's lamps, and slowly headed upstairs to look in on Monty.

Leah had lived on the tavern's upper floor her whole life, and the space was as familiar as her own heartbeat. Reba and Monty had shared the big room in the back that overlooked the often moody Atlantic Ocean. Reba had drawn her last breath in that room. Monty seemed destined to do the same.

Leah entered the firelit room quietly. In the big walnut bed lay Louis Montague...

Before the Dawn. Copyright © by Beverly Jenkins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

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(26)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 13, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Love this book...

    Ms Jenkins has done it again.....this book is awesome. I love the fact that with every book, she gives her readers some history. So far I have read 4 other books by this author and I have not been disappointed. The story of Leah & Ryder touched my heart. From there 1st meeting, I was hooked and could not stop reading. Thanks to Ms Jenkins to giving such an explosive story. Thanks to Ms Jenkins I am a huge fan of historial romances!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Loving me some Bev Jenkins

    As always I started reading this book looking for a connection to Ms. B's other character's. When I realized that the setting was in Colorado......I said to myself... Self, I dont think there's a connection here. At first I was a little disappointed because I love how Ms. Jenkins continues to connect her characters. Plus she keeps us up to date on the characters of previous books. But as I kept reading..... as usual Ms. B pulled me right into Denver and the Montague/Damien World! And I Loved It!!! All I can say is Ryder - Ryder - Ryder!!!!!!!!!!

    Hopefully, there's a book on Seth in the works...... **Hint - Hint**

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

    Awesome! This was my first book of the summer and Mrs. Jenkins

    Awesome! This was my first book of the summer and Mrs. Jenkins did not disappoint. I have read all of her books (historical and contemporary)! Her writing style is very unique! Keep it coming...........

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2007

    addicted to reading Beverly Jenkins' books.

    This book is totally my all time favorite of Beverly Jenkins work. I love the characters especially Ryder Damien........ I thought the book was very interesting and fun.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2006

    WOW! Reading beyond expressions!

    When I started reading, Beverly Jenkins books were among the first. I was a sleeper, when she invited me in to history, love and excitement, I do not require the sleep that I thought I had to have. My daughter refused to read her books, siting from one reason to another. She began reading one that I purposely left at her home. She invited several memberbers over to dinner on Sunday, after carefully getting the information about who had all the books of Ms.Jenkins, she refuse to serve dinner until one of us went and brought all the books to her.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2005

    WHAT A MAN, WHAT A MAN!!!

    This was the first book of Ms. Jenkins that I read and I immediately put her on my favorite authors list! I have sense found and bought them all. I agree whole heartedly with the other reviewers that this book has it all. And I WILL NEVER think of SPICED PEACHES the same way EVER AGAIN!! That man that man!! He is a bad a Galen Vachon and that is sayin' somthin'!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    LOVE ALL OF MS. JENKINS BOOKS. I CAN READ ONE IN ONE DAY!!! CAN'

    LOVE ALL OF MS. JENKINS BOOKS. I CAN READ ONE IN ONE DAY!!! CAN'T PUT IT DOWN ONCE I START READING!

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

    Posted August 3, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Before the Dawn was spellbinding, I couldn't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2013

    Nice Twist!!!

    I really enjoyed this book. It had a interesting twist at the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    Leah and Ryder

    You can never go wrong with a Beverly J novel. Class is always in session when it comes to history and Love is in the air when it comes to romance. What a great combination! Ryder is the ultimate hottie with the soft giving heart.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 30, 2012

    Beverly Jenkins has no equal when it comes to writing historical

    Beverly Jenkins has no equal when it comes to writing historical romance! She never fails to leave one entranced with her strong heroes, and sometimes even stronger heroines. You will never forget Ryder, Leah, and spiced peaches. This book has everything romance, suspense, and colorful history. Buy it, then relax and enjoy!

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

    Posted August 15, 2007

    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 unforgettable, main and secondary. The storyline flows with flawless effort! You will NEVER, EVER be disappointed when reading a Beverly Jenkins novel!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2005

    This wonderful novel

    I loved this book it was intoxicating. I found myself consumed with the characters in the novel. The viuals that this book drew were just gorgeous the setting, the history, and the intregue were just wonderful. I can't seem to say enough about this book, of all of them, it is my absolute favorite. I can read it over and over. She is a wonderful novelist I look forward to her next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2003

    At long last....historical books for the African American reader

    If you like a good romance, you'll love this! The heroin is the typical lovely, fiesty damsel in distress, (she is captive to her love for Damien), and the arrogant hero who can't help but to fall in love. I have read every one of Beverly Jenkins romance novels and I am selfishly awaiting her next release. I have re-read every copy I have. Ms. Jenkins is the most informative, interesting romance author I have had the pleasure to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2003

    A Great Book!!!

    This was my first book by Beverly Jenkins. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down! Oh my goodness, I wish Ryder Damien was real!!! I envied Leah and wished I was her. This is a great book. Beverly Jenkins is a great writer and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of her novels. I enjoy how she incorporates true history into her novels. Great Job, Beverly!!!! Great Job!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2001

    Before The Dawn

    I loved this book, Ms. Jenkins is a wonderful writer, and it is a joy and honor to read her precious novels. I wish I could meet a strong powerful guy like Ryder Damien. This is definetly a great book. Ms Jenkins, I'll be waiting in line for your next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2001

    Classic Beverly Jenkins

    Beverly Jenkins has done it again! Never disappointing the reader. This book is filled with African-american historical information, but does not bore the reader. Because let's face it... people read romance novels for the ROMANCE. The story line has humor, action, mystery, and of course a lot of romance. If you have read any of Ms. Jenkins' other works, then you will find that this book rivals Indigo...and that is a major feat! RBurse

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    exciting Reconstruction Era ethnic romance

    As he lies dying Louis Montague wants to make things right for Leah Barnett, daughter of the woman he always loved. He persuades Leah into marrying him so she can inherit his vast estate. Reluctantly she agrees to wed a man she considers her father while knowing she will be a widow in days and that their marriage will never be consummated. Louis also makes a deathbed confession. He admits that he has sired two thirty plus year old boys that live in Colorado and that he has not seen them in decades. He wants a shocked Leah to tell them he is sorry. <P>Leah takes the train west where she meets the younger Montague Ryder who feels this Jezebel took advantage of a sick old man to steal the estate. However, the vast estate has large debts, which Monty offers to pay in return for a few favors. Soon, Monty and Leah fall in love, but can he overcome his distrust and hatred especially when someone else wants them dead. <P> Readers will find this an exciting Reconstruction Era romance, but what make a Beverly Jenkins tale a delight are the tidbits on African-American history that blends smoothly into the plot. For instance, readers learn the color of Leah¿s skin via the conductor telling her that people like her do not belong in that part of the train. As usual the graceful Ms. Jenkins entertains and educates her audience with a stirring ethnic romantic tale of 1870s America. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews

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