Friday, November 30, 2012

Book Review: Beside Two Rivers by Rita Gerlach

Daughters of the Potomac #2

By:  Rita Gerlach

Published:  October 2012


A tale of love won and love lost, and the faith to find it again. From the banks of the Potomac to the misty moors of England, Darcy follows a path where the secrets of the past slowly rise to the surface in this dramatic saga that began in Before the Scarlet Dawn. She meets Ethan Brennan, an aspiring English horse breeder, who embraces her independent spirit and marvels at the simplicity of her faith. Ethan and Darcy fall in love, but are kept apart by a promise to another and a sworn oath to a dying woman whose long-hidden secret threatens Darcy 's and Ethan 's lives.

I have received and read this book as part of the Virtual Blog Tour with  If you remember, I reviewed Book One in this series titled, BEFORE THE SCARLET DAWN just a few weeks ago.  Check out my review, HERE.  Also, as a side note, BEFORE THE SCARLET DAWN was free yesterday for the Kindle.  You never know how long that promotion will last.  Click HERE to check it out. As with any book in a series, you appreciate the characters and their stories more if you have read the books together rather than as a stand alone.  This book will also be much more enjoyable if you know the history from Book One first.  I am certainly glad I read BEFORE THE SCARLET DAWN, but this book would still be enjoyable without reading it.  

In BESIDE TWO RIVERS, the story begins with Darcy, the daughter of the main characters from BEFORE THE SCARLET DAWN.  Darcy is now a grown woman and is struggling with her ties to her Aunt and Uncle who raised her in America and her familial ties to England.  It does take a bit of time to get into this story, but at about the half-way point, the story-line becomes intense which made for a faster read all the way to the end.  After many obstacles, you are anxious to see how Darcy perseveres.  

This second book in the series had a little less historical information in this book due to the Revolutionary War being over, but much more descriptive characterization of both the people and the places in the story.  The author certainly knows how to paint a picture with her words.  Her use of the language and protocol/manners from the time period were also well done. I for one am thankful to have lived in this century.  I'm not sure I could have bit my tongue as often as Darcy did! 

I adored Darcy and was pleased with the woman she had grown up to be.  She was much like her mother, even though she was away from her for most of her growing up years.  I loved her spunk and was inspired with how she handled her fears and problems.  Again, Gerlach weaves faith in God throughout the story without it being over-bearing and preachy.  It is just the right touch to remind the readers of where we need to turn in our trials as well as our triumphs.

Even though not everything is tied up with a pretty bow in this story, I still appreciate the way it ended and leads me to be anxious for the third book in the series that will focus on Sarah, a character from BEFORE THE SCARLET DAWN.  This third book, BEYOND THE VALLEY, is planned to debut in February 2013.  Watch for my review then!

 photo courtesy of

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. In many of her stories, she writes about the struggles endured by early colonists, with both American and English settings.  For more on Rita Gerlach, visit her blog at .  Connect with Rita Gerlach on Facebook, HERE.

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