Eye of the Beholder
Mainstream Romance: Contemporary, Inspirational, Interracial/Multicultural, Rubenesque/BBW
Cover Artist: Shirley Burnett
Editor: Vi Bowen
Word Count: 45,090
Release Date: February 26, 2009
Paperback version available at
When the car his wife was driving was totaled by a drunken driver, David Jordan lost both his beloved wife and his faith. Diana Stuart accepts the challenge of helping him find his way back to the Lord. Along the way she hopes David will realize that his young daughter needs a step-mom.
The only problem is that David has made it clear the pretty, but full-figured Diana has no chance of being that step-mom. Diana sets out to change his mind without losing her own faith.
As he had known, she was in the living room. She wore a pretty, soft pink dress with a full skirt that swirled around her calves as she swayed in time to the classical music filling the air. The heels she wore highlighted her legs, which were very nice.
Her eyes were closed so she wasn't aware of him. He stood in the doorway, unable to look away from her. Her movements were as graceful and sweeping as a dancer's. His gaze shifted to her hands. He imaged them caressing his cheeks as she leaned in to touch her mouth to his.
She opened her eyes suddenly, saw him, gasped, and came to an abrupt stop. "Mr. Jordan! I ... I didn't hear you. How ... how long have you been standing there?"
He found her breathless voice rather attractive. How would it sound whispering something soft and sweet to him?
"Only for a few moments."
"Why didn't you say something?"
"I didn't want to startle you." Noting how lovely she looked, he suddenly wished he had shaved and worn a pair of dress pants.
"And yet you did."
"Sorry." He strolled into the room. "My mother sent me to entertain you while she and Carolyn finish dinner."
"Can I get you anything?"
She shook her head. "Ah, no. I had some of your mother's excellent lemonade ten minutes ago."
For a moment, they stood in silence, staring at each other.
"I didn't expect to see you here. I understood from your mother that it would be just the two of us for dinner."
"And, I thought it would be just Mom, Carolyn and me."
She looked dismayed. "Oh. Then you wouldn't have come if you known I'd be here."
He shook his head. "I didn't say that."
"You didn't need to. I know how you feel." She glanced over her shoulder toward the kitchen. "I wish your mother had told me you'd be here." She sounded and looked irritated.
"I get the feeling you wouldn't have come if you'd known Carolyn and I would be here."
Her response was quick and ego deflating. "You're right. I wouldn't have come."
He frowned. "Why not?"
She stared at him, her dark eyes narrowed. "I think you know the answer to that question."
"No, I don't."
"I'm sure you can figure it out with a little effort. In the meantime, I'm going home."
"No!" The word was forced out of his mouth before he could stop it.
She stared at him. "What?"
"You're here now and Mom is sure to have cooked enough food for at least ten people."
"Maybe so, but this isn't what I expected when I agreed to come to dinner." She scooped her handbag up from the sofa. "Would you explain to your mother that I had to go?"
"No, I won't."
She shrugged. "Fine. I'll explain myself the next time I see her." She left the living room.
He could hear her heels clinking on the tiles in the hallway. Moments later, he heard her struggling to open the deadbolt lock on the front door.
He left the living room and rushed down the hall to the front door.
She turned to face him. "Would you help me with the door? I can't seem to figure out how to unlock it."
"I think you've misunderstood. I—"
"Are you going to unlock the door for me?"
He shook his head. "Not until you hear me out."
She turned back to the door, stared at both locks in silence for several moments, and finally managed to get the door open. She quickly went through, closing it behind herself.
He pulled the door open.
In her haste to get away from him, she was practically running down the sidewalk.
"Diana! Wait!" He followed her out of the house. Uncaring of the neighbors sitting on front porches watching, he reached out, caught her hand in his, and bought her to a reluctant stop. He turned her to face him. The sight of tears in her eyes stunned him. "Hey! Don't cry."
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