Review: Eye of the Beholder

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER - Elissa Gabrielle
Harper Collins
April 2014
Beverly Jackson |  RATING: B+ 
SYNOPSIS: Jerusalem's life has been anything but pleasant and attractive when viewed from the surface. Now, vulnerable and reclusive, he must face the world he joined the military to escape, armed with only dark secrets from his past, a bruised and burdened psyche and limits to him physically. Jill Lopes longs to fix the wounded and broken, but before she can heal the sick, she must first mend her own battle scars of unhappiness and resistance, and find a way to push past the experiences that haunt her.

Jerusalem “Jay” Jones, an Iraqi veteran, endured a terrible tragedy that left him orphaned as a young child is now facing the biggest challenge in his life. Severely injured in the line of duty, the reality of permanent physical disfigurements makes him reluctant to face his future. A nurse in a Veteran’s hospital, Jill Lopes tender-loving-care reflects her philosophy of enhancing her patient’s lives and removing the word “helpless” from their vocabulary. Jill’s caring and encouraging spirit slowly awakens Jay’s soul to see the possibilities of his future. Rebuffed when innocently flirting with Jill, leaves Jay feeling he is just another patient to her. Always a cheerleader for others, Jill shuts down her heart to Jay for fear of crossing ethical lines. Will the promise of love and happiness be able to break the chains that emotionally bind Jay and Jill to the past?

Gabrielle’s poetic pen knows how to touch a reader’s heart and reach deeply into their soul through her gift of great characterization. Jay believes that society will limit their love and acceptance of him because of his physical appearance not by his character. Though many would say Jill has had a privileged childhood, self-imposed guilt and living up the expectations of others has left her doubting her worthiness. Have the tissues handy as you relish the couple’s journey as they to learn to take the best from their past and lay aside the haunting demons. Flashbacks effectively integrated into the storyline provide insight into the complex issues which goes much deeper than what meets the eye. The sex is scorching hot but it’s made infinitely sexier by the layers of emotions.

The majority of this story takes place in the New Jersey/New York area but the scenes within the Veteran’s hospital showcase the dedication of the staff to ensure those who serviced our country gets the upmost service and dedication. While I enjoyed this exquisite inspirational romance, there were times when the actions were a little too predictable and marred the excitement of the next milestone in the couple’s life.

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER excels at rendering touching scenes, realistic characters, and a heartfelt plot. Gabrielle is a talented writer who gives readers more than they expect in her touching stories.

5th September 2014 |