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

Abingdon Press / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

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 follows is a struggle for survival, a test of faith, and the quest to find lasting love in an unforgiving wilderness.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1426714149
ISBN-13: 9781426714146
Availability: In Stock
Series: Daughters of the Potomac

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Publisher's Description

Love drove them to a new land. Now, a war for freedom threatens all they hold dear.

Author Bio

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 ritagerlach.blogspot.com.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

Rita Gerlach's Before the Scarlet Dawn starts with two characters seemingly similar to Jane Austen's romantic characters, but it soon becomes clear that the story revolves around one woman's search for love after marriage. At the start, Eliza thinks she has found that love with Hayward, who marries her despite his family's objections. The two both possess strong wills and somewhat secret admiration for each other. The readers hope along with Eliza that Hayward will fall deeply in love with the heroine, but as Eliza's story develops and changes, it focuses more on sin, loss, and redemption and less on romance.

After moving to America with her new husband, Eliza faces a constant test of faith. Her husband leaves to fight in the Revolutionary War, and her strong and helpful neighbor attempts to seduce her. Eliza never loses sight of God and His role in events, but often loses sight of herself. As the psalmist writes, "Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins" (Psalm 25:18).

Eliza captivates readers with her hardships and struggles. Her unpredictable circumstances make for a character with a relatable and heart-wrenching journey. Gerlach's writing and characters are addicting. She writes with a convicting and convincing nature.

Before Scarlet Dawn leaves readers wanting more. Gerlach closes her story with Eliza's redemption, but there are other characters to wonder about, including the two characters that Gerlach will feature in her two sequels in the Daughters of the Potomac trilogy. The sequels will tie up loose ends surrounding a certain characters that Eliza and readers are forced to leave in God's hands at the end of Before the Scarlet Dawn. Eliza's faith ultimately leads her true redemption and love. Although moral convictions will temporarily keep her from what many would define as a happy ending, she puts her trust in God's providence, inspiring readers to understand the meaning of Christ's forgiveness and to follow Him through every storm, for He will "never leave you, nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). Harmony Wheeler, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Publisher's Weekly

Gerlach (Surrender the Wind) opens the Daughters of the Potomac series with a tale set mostly in Revolutionary War Maryland. The strong-willed and Scarlett O’Hara–like Eliza Bloome, a vicar’s daughter, sets her bonnet for Hayward Morgan, who seeks a wife as part of his dream to prosper in Maryland. Eliza boldly offers herself and, though her social station is below Hayward’s, he is ambitious enough, and finds her attractive enough, to marry her. That is quick prelude to action that unfolds in America during the revolution. Hayward joins the colonial forces and then disappears, and Eliza is left to raise their daughter amid the dangers of life that include hostile Indians and a too-interested male neighbor. A complex plot knot pitches the characters into grief and uncertainty, leaving plenty of loose ends. Gerlach plots well, but her characters’ emotions are not explored very deeply. The prose can be shopworn (“Was it the cry of her soul that had been borne on the wind?”). Still, enough readers of inspirational romance will be reeled in to the next book in the series. Agent: Diana Flegal, Hartline Literary Agency. (Feb.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

4.2 Stars Out Of 5
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(7)
(3)
(1)
(1)
Quality:
4.5 out Of 5
(4.5 out of 5)
Value:
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Meets Expectations:
4.1 out Of 5
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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Before the Scarlet Dawn.
    October 10, 2014
    Debbie
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I could hardly lay this book down it was so interesting. I am looking forward to the other 2 titles in this series.
  2. Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    February 11, 2013
    Army Mom
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Honestly I'm not really sure how I felt about this book.

    Bad things, were there were several spelling errors and in one place the paragraph repeated itself. There is just no excuse for that many mistakes.

    Ok now for the book itself. While it wasn't your typical happy every after ending, I personally thought it ended well, and the reason was because it ended realistically. To have it end any other way I feel would have taken Hayward out of character.

    Eliza, like most of us have typical idea of what love looks like. She based her opinions on a "worlds view" of love and while I truly think that she loved Hayward, she failed to see that his idea of love was conditional and when she couldn't live up to that she was rejected. It wasn't until the end that she finds the kind of love that God gives us which is unconditional love. And sometimes God gives us back the people/things that we have lost, back usually not in a way that we would expect.

    As far as the ending goes, I personally didn't have a issue with it, but I can see where other people could. It could have been a bit clearer.

    I would have really like to give this a four star, but with all the spelling and editing mistakes, I do have to give it only a three star. I hope the next book is better edited.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Love, love, LOVE this book!
    October 7, 2012
    Kathi Macias
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    As a busy author/speaker myself, I almost never have time to read for pleasure, but I'm so glad I made time to read Before the Scarlet Dawn. By the time I was done, I was thrilled to realize book two, Beside Two Rivers, had just released, and I ordered and read it immediately. I was not disappointed. I enjoyed it every bit as much as the first book. I am now anxiously awaiting the next installment. Great stories, believable characters, beautiful narrative!
  4. Dundee, Scotland
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Historical Fiction
    September 17, 2012
    Wendy
    Dundee, Scotland
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Before the Scarlet Dawn is the first in a Trilogy and it is apparent at the end that the next book in the trilogy needs to be read in order for you to get the whole story. This is the only reason I have given this 4 rather than 5 stars. The story itself is definitely worth 5 stars. I loved the feisty heroine Eliza, who after losing both her father and brother in the same day, marries Hayward and moves out to the colonies with him. Her husband on the other hand can appear quite arrogant. However, this makes him appear all the more real. The story is well written, you really get the sense of America at the time, and how the American war of Independance impacted on ordinary people. You also get to know a lot about the English class system, which seemed to continue free and unfettered in America. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this trilogy and hearing some more of their story.
  5. Willows, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Revolutionary History
    August 22, 2012
    Anne Baxter Campbell
    Willows, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    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.
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