Beside Two Rivers - Rita Gerlach Read my full review @ opinion: I have to be honest I was immediately sucked into the first book of this saga, Before the Scarlet Dawn and couldn't put it down. I wasn't as entranced with the characters or the storyline as before. However, Beside Two Rivers continues to have Ms. Gerlach's excellent writing and character development. Furthermore, Ms. Gerlach is a master at laying out a storyline slowly which come to stunning conclusions. I just would have liked to have been more invested in these characters. On a further note, although Ms. Gerlach is considered a Christian author, her books never come off as being preachy. The storylines and language used are very "clean", but the books don't beat the reader over the head with scripture references. Because Ms. Gerlach's novels are so character driven, I would not read this series out of order. It is imperative that readers have a firm understanding of Darcy's history to understand occurrences in this novel.