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

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

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

In 1775, Hayward Morgan, a young gentleman destined to inherit his father’s estate in Derbyshire, England, captures the heart of the local vicar’s daughter, Eliza Bloome. Her dark beauty and spirited ways are not enough to win him, due to her station in life.

Circumstances throw Eliza in Hayward’s path, and they flee to America to escape the family conflicts. But as war looms, it's a temporary reprieve. Hayward joins the revolutionary forces and what followsis a struggle for survival, a test of faith, and the quest to find lasting love in an unforgiving wilderness.

"Gerlach's novel is an immensely emotional read with suprising twists I never anticipated." -

"Ms. Gerlach's unique literary prose has once again captured my heart with a stirring tale of love and loss, desperation and hopeduring one of the most uncertain times in American History--theRevolutionary War. I cannot wait for the next book in the series!" - MaryLu Tyndall, author of Surrender the Dawn

"Filled with true-to-life characters whose struggles will linger with readers long after the last page is turned, Before the Scarlet Dawn is a memorable story of Revolutionary War-era England and America."-Amanda Cabot, author of Summer of Promise

"Rita Gerlach has written a colorful historical with a feisty heroine on a search for survival, romance, and a place to belong." Cynthia Hickey, author of the Summer Meadows mysteries

"A stirring story of love and its consequences, Before the Scarlet Dawn will draw you in from the start and not let you go again."- Roseanna M. White, author of Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland and Jewel of Persia

"While reading Before the Scarlet Dawn, you'll travel back in time--andfrom England to Maryland--withoutever leaving your easy chair!This is a big, beautiful, well-told story of love, faith, and the struggles of war that changed lives...and hearts. I can't wait to read the next book inthis series!"Loree Lough, best-selling author of more than 80 award-winning books, including reader favorite From Ashes to Honor

"I fell into this book, thinking I'd escaped into a typical historical romance, but as I followed Eliza Bloome through heartache, sin, guilt and grief, followed by a questioning of her faith, I couldn't read it without taking a good look at my own mistakes, my own conceptions about love and romance and how faith can sometimes lead you to some very unusual places." - Julie L. Cannon, author of Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes, 'Mater Biscuit, and Twang.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426714146
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication date: 02/28/2012
Series: Daughters of the Potomac Series , #1
Pages: 327
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Rita Gerlach lives with her husband and two sons in a historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains, amid Civil War battlefields and Revolutionary War outposts in central Maryland. She was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in a large family in the Maryland suburbs.In many of her stories, she writes about the struggles endured by early colonists with a sprinkling of both American and English history. Her genre - Inspirational Historical Romance / Drama. Visit Rita's website at

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Before the Scarlet Dawn: Daughters of the Potomac, Book 1 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Janna6 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would not read this book again. It was sad and left me depressed and melancholy. I totally agree w/the Christian theme throughout the story. But I also believe not only does God forgive but also restores, the poor character suffers the entire story. The prose was well written but due to the unhappy ending I would not choose another book by this author. There is enough unfairness and unhappiness in this world I would much rather happy endings....after all it was fiction.
ChristianFictionJunkie More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the setting of Scarlet Dawn and found the characters to be pretty realistic. I hope there is a sequel, because there were a lot of details left hanging. I too, had a "love-hate" relationship with the story. I guess that makes it a good read, to get emotional about the choices the characters make.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am another one who was really excited to see the Revolutionary War as a backdrop and the theme was intriguing, but I just didn't like it. I tried to, but by the time she was reunited with her husband, I not only didn't like him, but I didn't like her much either. Unfortunately, how her husband treated her was probably an accurate portrayal of what sentiments would have been in that era, but by the end of the book, I just didn't care. Perhaps redemption and forgiveness between she and her husband at the end would have improved this book, but even that would have felt contrived. I give two stars rather than one because the setting and history felt real and well researched, but I wouldn't recommend the book.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
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!
Hollysmith More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this book-
Hill4kids More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book, sad times and great strength & Faith... Highly Reccomended
avidreader70SE More than 1 year ago
I loved the story line! But, they left it at a odd time.
loves-readingSC More than 1 year ago
Didn't really like this story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
A deeply moving historical novel. The development of the characters in this book is excellent. I was drawn into the story from the very beginning. I wanted so badly to see everything work out well for Eliza Bloome. She has such a strong faith and has so many hardships to face throughout the story. Multiple times I felt as if my heart was going to break for all that she had to deal with.  She is a very realistic character in that as time progressed she faltered in her decision making and in her belief that she had made correct choices. Even when we make questionable choices God doesn’t leave us and we can hold on to that fact. This is something that Eliza works through as she struggles with her self-doubts. If we are at all truthful with ourselves we would each admit to doubting our decisions at times.  I am looking forward to reading the other 2 books in this series and seeing what type of characters Rita Garlach creates for them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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Anne_M_Baxter More than 1 year ago
The year is 1775. There's this pretty girl, see, the daughter of a vicar in England, Eliza Bloome. Respectable, but not exactly an heiress. Then there's this guy she's had a thing for since childhood--Hayward Morgan. Son of landed gentry. They've got a lady picked out for him, Lilith Marsden. Well, Hayward is all in favor of Lilith. But he's also in favor of living in America. He has a piece of land and a home there. And Lilith? Well, frankly, she'd love to marry him. IF he'd stay in England on his father's property. She has no interest in the colonies. She refuses to marry him and go so far away. Eliza accidentally hears the conversation between the two and Lilith's refusal to go with Hayward. When Hayward discovers Eliza sitting in the darkness in the same hallway, she tells him Lilith is not worthy of him. That if Lilith loved him she would go anywhere with him. Boldly, Eliza tells him she loves him and he should marry her, that she would go with him anywhere. And thus begins her journey to Virginia. She's plunged into colonial life at the beginning of the Revolution with a man who doesn't love her, among colonial women who disdain her, and in the midst of wild Indians and wilder weather. And a neighbor who admires her too much. How will she overcome? There are some obstacles almost insurmountable.