Title: Eye of the Beholder
Author: Edward Kendrick
Length: 19,321 words (104 pages)
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: m/m mystery contemporary
When Preston is attacked by an unknown assailant, he’s unable to face the future looking as he does. With the help of his new roommate, will he let down his barriers and meet his best friend Cary face to face again?
When porn star Preston is attacked by an unknown assailant who may have been working for his former boss, he goes into seclusion, unable to face the future looking as he now does.
Meanwhile his friend, Cary, and Cary’s boyfriend, give up trying to find Pres and move on with their lives. Then, through his online business, Pres reconnects with his friend, although Cary doesn’t know it is Pres. Will Pres, with the help of the woman with whom he is living, be able to let down his barriers and meet face to face with Cary or will his fears keep them just online friends?
This format is a bit short for a real mystery, but I do enjoy the author’s style, so enjoyed the story, even though I’d figured out who the bad guy was quite early on. Preston and Cary have been friends for years, and while Preston has been in love with him for some time, Cary shot him down early on fearing ruining their friendship. Preston’s finally finished his contract with sketchy porn studio, and despite threats is happy to be out of it. While Cary is out of town, Preston is attacked in his apartment and badly slashed. His career options go from model to hideous creature (in Preston’s opinion). However before Cary can get back to town, Preston has checked himself out of the hospital and disappeared.
You find out he was taken in by a former friend, now a nurse, and he starts his own web design business allowing him to work without meeting anyone. Of course, by chance, Cary ends up being assigned to work with him on a new company website, and they form a friendship on-line. Finally, Preston admits who he is and they reunite, but within days Preston is shot. Meanwhile it seems Cary’s boyfriend is getting rather paranoid and possessive. Hmmmm.
I really liked Preston’s friend Tabby. She pushed him to get out and be in the world, and she really helped him see that not everyone would view him as horrible. But she wasn’t the interfering friend. Yes, she encouraged both him and Cary to confront their feelings for each other, but I got the impression that if either one had told her to back off, she would have. It wasn’t that eye-rolling interfering female that seems to crop up so often.
As I said, the “mystery” of who attacked Preston was fairly clear, but still, on the whole, I liked Preston and wanted him to find his HEA despite the terrible scarring he had to learn to live with. Those who really want a solid mystery may not enjoy it, but if you like the hurt-comfort theme, combined with friends to lovers, and reunification (wow, lots of tropes covered there), I think you’ll find it a good read to pass the time, if not necessarily one you go back to later.