Before the Dawn

Before the Dawn

by Denise A. Agnew
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Before the Dawn by Denise A. Agnew

A fallen woman must decide to stay down, or rise and fight...

Elijah McKinnon has been found innocent of a heinous murder, but it doesn't erase the hellish years in prison he endured. He boards the train to Pittsburgh a changed man, certain he will never feel free until he's wreaked revenge on the brother who ruined his life.

The passenger who catches his eye is intriguing, but he's seen her kind before. The kind who puts on airs-and looks down on Irishmen. Still, he can't seem to stop himself from stepping between her and a pack of ruthless cads.

Mary Jane Lawson is grateful for the handsome stranger's help, but her journey has a higher purpose: to rise above her shattered reputation and declare her independence, come flood or famine. Propriety says she should refuse Elijah's suggestion they pose as husband and wife-for her own protection, of course. Her practical side says it won't hurt to pretend, just this once.

Come nightfall, though, their little charade must be carried all the way to shared sleeping quarters, where their vulnerabilities become painfully clear. And when danger past and present threatens, trusting each other becomes a matter of life and death.

Warning: A hot Irish accent mixed with high adventure may cause combustion. Beware of falling for this hunk. The heroine says he's hers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609285968
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Pages: 290
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Denise Agnew is the author of contemporary, suspense, paranormal, fantasy, erotic and paranormal romance. Her novel PRIMORDIAL earned a coveted TOP PICK from RT Book Reviews magazine. A newly minted paranormal investigator, Denise looks forward to exploring the unknown. Visit Denise’s website at

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Before the Dawn 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
MelannD More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!!!!  Before the Dawn is one of the best historical romance books I’ve read this year.   Author Denise Agnew vividly depicts a journey by train through 19th Century Pennsylvania in this fast paced story.   The hero Elijah and the heroine Mary Jane  have great chemistry from the moment they lay eyes on each other.  Elijah who came from a poor family has just been released from prison after five hellish years in solitary confinement for being wrongfully convicted of killing his first love Maureen.  He sets out to get revenge, find and kill the real murderer, his brother Amos.   Mary Jane who came from a wealthy family is in mourning for her father.  She has set out to bring his body home for burial to her family and try to rise above her shattered reputation and declare her independence.   Elijah and Mary Jane pretend to be married to ward off two unsavory characters that show interest in Mary Jane.   Their charade gets a little out of hand and really heats up when they are forced to share sleeping quarters to keep up the appearance that they are indeed married.   On the last leg of the trip an explosion on the tracks stop the train and it appears to be a train robbery.   Mary Jane is abducted by Amos.   Elijah vows that he will save Mary Jane or die trying.   Once before he’d made a vow based on pure hate and need for revenge.  Now he vowed to find Amos based on another emotion he thought he would never feel again.  LOVE.   Mary Jane realizes she in love with Elijah when she thinks he is dead.   Elijah finds Amos and saves Mary Jane.  He  comes face to face with his brother Amos and Elijah realizes that killing Amos or getting revenge was no longer important to him.  Nothing was more important than being with Mary Jane.   Amos softens and shows some regret when he realizes that Elijah was willing to give up his life for Mary Jane’s.    Elijah and Mary Jane declare their love for each other and vow to be married even though she thinks her family will not approve of her marriage to Elijah because of his social standing.   Her family doesn’t approve at first,  but they quickly change their minds and accept Elijah after they hear about how he saved Mary Jane.  Two months later Elijah and Mary Jane are married.       I Can't wait for the next book to find out what happens with The O'Connor twins and Mary Jane's sisters, Cora & Faith :)
PGForte More than 1 year ago
Put Irish hero and historical romance in the same sentence and I’m already intrigued. But if you tell me that same hero has been wrongfully imprisoned and is tortured with guilt for having failed to save the woman he loves, that the heroine is a free-spirited woman struggling against social constraints, and then you add in a train ride? I am so, so there. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Before the Dawn opens with Elijah McKinnon gaining release from prison. His first act as a free man is one that is likely to land him right back in the hell that was Eastern State Penitentiary. On his way to carry out this plan, he crosses paths with Mary Jane Lawson. Though he thinks of himself as a hardened man with only one thing on his mind (no, not sex: vengeance!) Elijah can’t help but intervene when Mary Jane is threatened. As they make their way westward, they’re shadowed by some perfectly creepy bad guys—the kind you really want to see come to bad ends. They also receive help from several unlikely allies, all of whom deserve books of their own. I’m just sayin. Circumstance forces Elijah and Mary Jane to stay together, deliciously trapped in the pretence of being husband and wife. Delicious for us, that is, as the social mores of the times are at odds with the couple’s obvious appreciation for each other’s physical attributes. All of which adds up to some marvelously tense moments along the way. Will Elijah forsake vengeance to stay with Mary Jane? Can Mary Jane find the strength to flout her family’s expectations yet again? Well, this is a romance, after all; but, oh, the journey!
NancyLauzon More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed this historical romance by author Denise Agnew. Elijah McKinnon has been wrongly imprisoned for killing his fiancée, and intends to avenge her death by killing the real murderer -- his brother, Amos. His plans are unexpectedly interrupted when he meets Mary Jane Lawson, a young woman travelling alone and in need of his protection from dangerous men. As enemies shadow their every move, they find themselves struggling with a strong, mutual physical attraction and a growing emotional connection that they are powerless to ignore. The author paints a vivid picture of 19th century Pennsylvania and offers up a strong, likeable hero and heroine. The realistic development of Elijah and Mary Jane's moving, well-paced love story makes this romance a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book awhile back only to find out that there was a major problem. When you open the book you find that a totally different book has downloaded. You'll see what I mean if you download the sample first. Now don't get me wrong, B&N was very quick to refund my payment and they were very nice about it. What really bothers me is that they have now known about this problem for a couple of weeks and the book is still for sale - even though the same problem still exists.