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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Jamie Beck (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

This was such a boring story made even more laborious by the reader. Not one enjoyable aspect. Giving it ones is over rating the book.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • MHelf
  • 26-09-2017

Good story/Bad narration

I love Jamie Beck books and the story was good. But the narrator was almost unbearable. Annoyingly dramatic narration.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Beverly P.
  • 17-03-2018

Worst narration ever

The narration made this seem like a cheesy romance novel. It was just so bad. Everytime she spoke a male's line it was done in monotone. I had a hard time focusing on the story because I was so annoyed by the cheap narration.. The plot was very predictable.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-03-2018

NO to Narrator-lisp

Would you try another book from Jamie Beck and/or Siiri Scott?

not if you want audio-book - couldn't get past lisp and "sss" when reading, thought it would get better as she went on, but couldn't make it through 1st chapter in book and not worth it, cancelled the whole book series.

What could Jamie Beck have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

different narrator...never got past 1st chapter,and no time to read it myself so cancelled whole series from kindle

What didn’t you like about Siiri Scott’s performance?

Might be a great person, but she has a lisp and any word with an "ss" and she doesn't sound good as a guys voice.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gregg
  • 19-07-2018

Narrator made listening difficult.

This storyline was just ok. Repeats a lot of the same emotional explains and drags on in places. Not sure I I will continue the series. More likely to if another narrator is used. This one had a bit of a lisp and was not easy listening. Distracted from the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • yourdebness
  • 12-07-2018

horrible narrator

Wish the book had been alec's story. found colby to be annoying and whiny, just like her mother

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nono#333
  • 02-04-2018

long

I feel the author drug out this story. Then their narration sounded like a boring professor. the story was interesting enough. however the self doubt that Colby has for everyone got a bit old I skipped from chapter 14 to 22 an seemed to not have missed anything. I am sorry but I dont think I would refer anyone to this book. I am not giving up on the author just yet. I want to give them another chance to win me over.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Angelee
  • 19-04-2018

Debating on just reading it myself

If you could sum up Before I Knew in three words, what would they be?

Complex Family Drama

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator has me debating on finishing the book by just reading it myself. When she reads as the female characters (Most of them anyway) it's fine. It's when she is reading the male characters, she makes them sound so malicious, which i don't believe that is what the author is trying to convey. I listen to audiobooks all the time and often narrators develop/define each character's voice very clearly so it's easy to follow along. There were times when i wasn't sure whose voice she was in. Except for the moms, she was really good with differentiating the moms voices.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were points where i was close to crying, the various relationships are complex. Some made more dramatic than necessary.

Any additional comments?

Read the book before listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Christine M
  • 19-02-2018

A good start to this series

Would you listen to Before I Knew again? Why?

I might possibly...there are so many others I want to listen to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Before I Knew?

Where Colby goes to Mark's grave

What does Siiri Scott bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Voices to all of the characters

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book, and I listened to most of it and read some of it. I did think there could have been more of a change in Alec and Colby's voice. At times, I wasn't sure who was speaking. Perhaps a male narrator would have been helpful since there were so many different characters to voice. I enjoyed the story and it was a good listen/read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Rusty
  • 04-11-2017

Hopelessly Annoying

Contrary to the book's description, Colby was not ready to move on with her life. Rather than seek counseling to resolve the heart-breaking death of her mentally ill husband or her feelings of abandonment following her parent's divorce, Colby seemed to wallow in misery.

While Colby's dream of opening her own business was commendable, she did not try working in a restaurant or take any food service classes before taking the leap. As an intelligent 30+ year old woman who was smart enough to graduate from law school, Colby seemed hopelessly naïve and easily manipulated by her family.

Likewise, Alec (early 30s) was a stereotypical, temperamental chef who bullied and degraded his kitchen staff, believed that food had to be unpronounceable to be edible and who desperately needed his Neanderthal father's approval. Alec was arrogant and cruel one moment, pathetic and groveling the next - totally unappealing to anyone not in high school.

When Colby and Alec started having sex before sharing their feelings or thoughts, I totally lost interest. I find it difficult to become engaged with characters who don't like themselves or make no effort to get professional help when obviously needed, particularly when finances are not an issue.

I gave up listening about two thirds into Before I Knew - life is just too short to waste time - but I fervently hope that Colby and Alec eventually learned that the best way to heal from emotional pain is to help others in need.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicole Unverferth
  • 07-09-2017

Heartwarming

I loved this book; I wasn't sure at first, but as I listened the story unfolded and my heart was warm. Would suggest this book to many.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • 11-10-2017

Not as good as usual

First off, I hope Siiri Scott as a narrator is a one off thing because I found her character’s voices to be quite grating. She put too much whine into the voices whenever the characters were angry or upset and it made them sound like young teenagers. I also thought her male voices in general just didn’t work.

Plot wise, it started out good. She laid the scene well and the characters interacted in a believable way. But the middle/end dragged on and I struggled to stay invested in the characters. It’s a good thing this wasn’t my first book by Jamie Beck- otherwise I doubt I would have listened to any of her other stories.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fleetwoodboy
  • 29-08-2017

Cooking up a storm

A typical Jamie Beck romance . Good and slightly different story line that was always moving forward with no "filling in" from the side. Written with clever dialogue, which always puts her books on a higher level. For the true romantics this is a book not to be missed .