Friday 25 August 2017


Before I Knew
The Cabots #1
By Jamie Beck
Releasing August 22nd, 2017
Montlake Romance

In Before I Knew (The Cabots #1) by Jamie Beck, Colby Cabot-Baxter is determined to finally push past her grief and the guilt she's held since the death of her husband. Two years is long enough, and hopefully her fresh start comes with opening A CertainTea and building the restaurant into a success. However, being forced to work alongside old family friend Alec Morgan is harder than she thought, especially when her husband's reckless dare cost Alec's brother his life and set Alec on a path of self-destruction. Can Colby work with Alec to achieve her dream and help him redeem his reputation as an award winning chef, or will the secrets they're hiding keep them from ever finding happiness together?

What an incredibly-written, fast-paced, mesmerizing read Ms. Beck has delivered in this story, which entertained me from start to finish due to the wonderful main characters that have such a harrowing history between them; the dialogue that had me charmed by the heroine's determination to help the hero with the tenuous bond he has with his father and the hero's determination to help Colby make her restaurant a success; and the ending that had me wondering whether everything would work out for the best for this couple, as the hero believes he isn't good enough for the heroine. Will Colby be able to prove him wrong? Will Alec finally realize that second chances are worth fighting for?

The way this story started with the prologue had me sympathizing with the heroine and her husband, yet at the same time, I could understand the anger of the Morgan family. However, it was from the moment the hero and heroine come face-to-face for the first time in this story that had me hooked, as there's so much bad history between them because of what happened to the heroine's husband and the hero's brother. Will Colby and Alec ever be able to get back the easy friendship they once shared?

As for the dialogue, it was riveting and I loved the banter between the hero and heroine, as they had plenty of good times when they were younger, and it's hard not to remember when they shared such a close friendship. Moreover, the dialogue was intense due to the main characters back stories; the tension between Alec and his father that had me feeling sorry for the hero; and what happens to Alec's mother that had me liking her because of the decision she made. She needed time out from her husband before the man did something he'd regret and wouldn't be able to make right.  

Both the main characters were fantastic and I loved their back stories, the history between them that's created so much animosity between their families, and their growing relationship that had me cheering for this couple's happy ever after. Furthermore, the heroine is resilient, courageous and I liked how determined she was to make the change that she has for her life, because she realizes it's time to finally do something to help her heal. I also liked how she handled the people in her life, especially her mother; a woman that's needy and will do anything to have someone's attention. Yet, what I liked most about the heroine is that she would do anything for the hero, which is proven by what she does when it comes to his family.

While the hero, I couldn't help but sympathize with him due to everything he's been through from losing his brother to losing his reputation as one of the best chefs. However, I liked that he was determined to pick up the pieces of his life. He's strong and brave by taking the job at Colby's restaurant because it means facing his past while hopefully trying to cement his future. I also liked how kind and caring the hero was when it came to dealing with the heroine's mother. Why not show the woman that people care about her, even when she's determined to drive Colby crazy? Yet, what I liked most about the hero is how passionate he was when it came to his career as a chef and how willing he was to help Colby achieve her dream.

Overall, Ms. Beck has delivered a worthwhile and enchanting read in this book where the chemistry between this couple was off-the-charts. The way this story ended had me worried that for this couple's happy ever after, as Alec is stubborn in believing he's not good enough for the heroine, even though she does everything to convince him otherwise. However, in saying that, I liked that Alec realized he could have it all - happy ever after with Colby, successfully getting his career back on track and hopefully being able to finally repair his relationship with his father. I would recommend Before I Knew by Jamie Beck, if you enjoy second chance romances; the friends to lovers trope; or books by authors Erin Nicholas, Catherine Bybee, Tamra Baumann and Barbara Freethy.

Author Jamie Beck returns with an engrossing series about family, friendship, and starting over. In this first Cabot novel, a legacy of secrets tests old friends seeking a second chance at life and love.

On the second anniversary of her husband’s suicide, Colby Cabot-Baxter is ready to let go of her grief and the mistakes made during her turbulent marriage. Her fresh start comes in the form of A CertainTea, the restaurant she’s set to open along Lake Sandy, Oregon, with help from her family. But when her executive chef quits just weeks before the grand opening, Colby is pressured to hire old family friend Alec Morgan. His award-winning reputation could generate buzz, but their friendship has withered since her husband’s reckless dare cost Alec’s brother his life.

Distracted by guilty secrets concerning the tragedy that changed his and Colby’s lives, Alec self-destructed and lost his famed restaurant. With his career in tatters, he’s determined to use this opportunity to redeem his reputation and to help the woman he’s loved from afar find happiness again.

But secrets have a way of coming out. When Alec’s do, they might destroy the new life he and Colby have rebuilt together.

BUY LINK:  Amazon

1 comment:

  1. I just finished this book. What another great book by Jamie Beck.