Monday, August 28, 2017

Before I Knew by Jamie Beck

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.

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Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆☆
An emotional and heart wrenching story from the first page to the last. Ms. Beck brought together well-developed characters that told a story in a heartfelt and compelling manner.

The character of Colby is one of a woman trying to find her place in the world after the tragic death of one of her closest childhood friends and her husband's suicide. Her emotional state is fragile at the beginning, but you can see her slowly regain her confidence and strength of purpose. She doesn't always get it right, but even failing is part of learning.

Alec is the brother of her childhood friend and has been secretly in love with Colby since they were teens. He harbors guilt about the accident that took his brother and the circumstances leading up to the death of Colby's husband. His childhood left him emotionally scarred in such a way that he tends to accept blame for wrongs that others laid at his doorstep, warranted or not.

Each character in this book shows the great depth of soul and heart as Colby and Alec try to piece together their lives again.

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars
M/F Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

This is a tragic story with a hopeful outcome. Colby, Joe, Mark, and Alec were all in this together. However, ego, mental health, and hurt feelings come into play and create a mess of a situation for all involved.

Colby is trying to move on with her life under the crushing guilt over the suicide of her husband, Mark. This was just after the tragic and accidental death of her good childhood friend, Joe. There was so much loss in such a short amount of time that it left Colby kind of broken and battered.

Alec lost his brother in that tragic accident, but he also lost the ability to rectify the hurts of the past. Despite the fact that his father and brother were constantly belittling him, Alec knows that it's time to come home and work – his mother misses him and she's suffered enough.

When Colby and Alec find themselves thrust into each other's business, feelings develop and truths are revealed. Colby will stand up for Alec and Alec will need to learn that sometimes, the risk is worth it.

This is filled with emotions, family drama, and redemption on several levels.

I can't wait to see what happens next!

This is the first book in a new series and sets up a lot of possible stories for future installments – I cannot wait!

Here is revealed the tragic background to the Morgan and Cabot family rift – and the secrets that have been hidden in an attempt to reduce the pain of others. Of course, in doing that there are lies and secrets which will come out and have further devastating impact on the grieving. But there is hope and new beginnings are being sought – Colby has left her legal career behind to open a restaurant, and her brother Hunter sends her their one-time friend, Alec, to be her executive chef.

I loved the side stories of the opening of the restaurant, of the crazy family dynamics, and the larger than life characters that we will no doubt get to see in future books. But, inevitably, I loved Alec and Colby most of all. They are so damaged, yet so keen to help the other. I feel we get far more of an understanding of Alec and his views, until towards the end, when Colby gains her freedom from her shadows and makes the moves to really move her life forward.

Thank you, Ms. Beck.

Jamie Beck is a former attorney with a passion for inventing stories about love and redemption. In addition to writing novels, she also pens articles on behalf of a local nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth and strengthening families. Fortunately, when she isn’t tapping away at the keyboard, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family.

Connect with Jamie

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Before I Knew (Cabot #1) by Jamie Beck to read and review.

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