by Diana Palmer

July 2005
ISBN: 0-373-77041-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin
Trade Paperback

Phoebe Keller is an archeologist who, after a rather traumatic occurrence a few weeks after her college graduation that cost her the man she loved, finds herself as the curator of a small Native American museum in Chenocetah, NC. One day she receives a phone call about, quite possibly, THE biggest archeological find ever! However the caller abruptly hangs up before Phoebe can get any personal information from him. Phoebe puts it down as a crank call although she does make mention of it to one of the local deputies. She’s puzzled and then appalled when the same deputy meets her at the door of the museum the next morning to let her know that there was a dead body discovered on the Indian Reservation and it could very well be the same man she spoke with! Little does she know that this incident will bring her past right back to her, in the form of FBI agent Jeremiah Cortez.

Cortez has been in love with Phoebe for years but fate stepped in and dealt them both a blow. It took him a very long time to find her and then Phoebe’s aunt told him that Phoebe didn’t want to see him. He stayed away but now he’s been called in on this murder and since Phoebe was the last person to talk to the victim, Cortez has to talk to Phoebe. He vows he will get Phoebe back and this time, it will be forever!

Phoebe is stunned when Cortez gets out of his car in the parking lot of the museum and she escorts him into her office. She’s very professional with him and gives him the information he needs. However their second meeting wasn’t as professional, with Phoebe finally getting 3 years of heartbreak off her chest! She then agrees to assist in the investigation in any way she can, since she’s a potential target for the murderer.

In Before Sunrise Diana Palmer explores parts of Native American customs, primarily Cherokee and a bit of Comanche. Being part Native American myself, I found it interesting. She also partially explores the archeology world. Naturally, the romance between Phoebe and Cortez take center stage.

I’ve been reading Ms. Palmer for years and while she does write a book that will pull you in and not let go, she also still employs a couple of things that are bothersome. She puts her heroines in scenarios they shouldn’t be in – the same result can be had using a different plotline. Plus she has the heroes almost deliberately mis-read something said or done by the heroine. That being said, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

Reviewed in June 2005 by PamL.

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