In the Eye of the Beholder by Dianna Roman

In the Eye of the Beholder is full of surprises. Daniel, a bar tender finds himself in a situation needing help. Luckily, Eric turns up and nothing is ever the same again.  Daniel is full of sassiness and Eric is able to handle Daniel easily. Appearances from Harper and Riley add so much to the story. 

From the blurb:

The highly anticipated follow-on to Until I Saw You.

Daniel Ellis trusts no one and love, even less. His longstanding commitment to self-reliance backfires when a series of events finds an unlikely savior offering him assistance at every turn. How can the aggravating widower who’s sat at the end of his bar the past few years be his knight in shining armor?

Reluctantly taking a job as Eric Jordan’s assistant becomes more than just a means of safe haven. Working for his aloof bar patron broadens Daniel’s perspectives, threatening to tear down every wall he’s built around his heart as he begins to learn more about a man he’s always purposely ignored. All Daniel wanted was to hide from the trouble that’s following him, not have the rest of his world turned upside down by the wealthy older man who ends up being nothing he expected and everything he didn’t realize he might need.

An emotional slow burn, age gap, hurt/comfort journey of two broken hearts who find that the road to healing might require joining forces.

Reedkaye's Review:

In the Eye of the Beholder is the second book. I suggest reading Until I Saw You first.

Daniel is a bartender with plans to own his own club one day. He had planned on taking over the bar he works at until the owner turns over running it to a relative.

Eric is a widower who finds himself attracted to Daniel. Since there is a twenty-two-year age gap, he feels this attraction is impossible. So he patronizes the bar and sits and stares at Daniel the whole time.  

One evening, something happens that finds Daniel in need of Eric’s help. I love the sassiness of Daniel, even if almost too much at times. The interaction between these two caused me to laugh more than once. Eric proves he is able to deal with Daniel’s mouth. At the same time, I feared what might happen to Daniel.  

There are several twists to this story. I enjoyed having the characters from the previous book, Harper and Riley, appear again. These two together also add so much.  

I recommend this story as one that will grab your attention from the beginning.

Rating: 5 Stars

Angel's Review:

Daniel has had a very difficult life, growing up his parents and brother always pretended he didn't exist when he did something they couldn't capitalize on. And when he thought he found a man who loved him, he turned out to be just as bad as his parents. After that, he's been jaded and has stayed far from any type of intimacy ever since. It doesn't matter that the man at the end of the bar has been coming in for the past 3 years, or never takes his eyes off him. 'Manhattan' never says anything more to Daniel aside from ordering his drink... Until Daniel gets attacked by a man and 'Manhattan' saves his life, that moment changes everything between these two men. That night propelled Daniel into danger and right into Eric's arms, but Daniel fights Eric's help tooth and nail, until one day Daniel realizes he can't keep doing that anymore. 

Oh, sweet, bitter, jaded, Daniel. His character I think a lot of people could relate to, being hurt over and over again, to the point where you just close yourself off? Yeah, pretty sure there are quite a few people out there who can relate. So aside from him being relatable, he was also a great character. His character... Was a difficult character to like at first, especially considering how combative he was and how.. ungrateful he acted. I understand he didn't want to owe anything to anyone, but I mean.. he could have been more appreciative of the help that Eric offered with no strings. But! Over the course of the story, I got to know and understand Daniel's character better. I understand why he is the way he is, I get why he has walls that are sky high around his heart. I love that Dianna made me understand. She made me like him because she gave him such a terrific backstory! Not to mention how well written his character was. Along with Eric's character and his backstory, everything was just so beautifully written.

I felt compassionate towards Eric when he was trying to deal with Sam's horrible family. I have family members who... Unfortunately are a lot like the ones that are depicted in this story, and even when you try to give them grace and keep giving them the benefit of the doubt, they just keep taking advantage of that. So, in that way, I understand how he was conflicted with how to handle them, and with how his wife wanted him to handle them. 

I really enjoyed all the scenes of the process behind Eric's company. The sketching, and how they turned the sketch into fabric, to the modeling, and then lastly, the show! I thought it was so cool that we went on that journey with these characters. 

When I read Until I Saw You, I fell in love with Dianna's writing, and after reading this, I fell even more in love with her storytelling. She doesn't create characters/situations and then sugarcoats them, she makes realistic and relatable characters that are gritty, and sad, and jaded, but who also learn how to let themselves be happy and how it's okay to ask for help. She makes realistic books, yeah the stories are a work of fiction, but the stories themselves? Pure reality. 

I adored how we got to see Riley, Harper, and, of course, Larry in this book, and not just a quick cameo. They were in this WHOLE book!! Isn't that awesome?!

If you want a book that'll make you laugh, cry, sigh exasperatedly, smile, and something you can relate to.. then I highly recommend you get yourself Until I Saw You and this book and read the both of them. Cause while this could be read as a standalone, it's so much more enjoyable to read Until I Saw you first. 

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Heather's Review:

I will admit that I struggled getting into this book, I put it aside twice, but because it's an ARC, I went back to it a third time and I finally engaged.  I think I had a hard time because these characters have such a lot of history and baggage to deal with and because it moves slowly at the beginning.   I will admit that I didn't see some of the plot twists coming and it was great to see the characters from the first book in the series throughout, and I'm glad I got through it, but I struggled with some of the pacing and scenes.  I love the depth that Dianna Roman brings to her characters and I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Zakiyya's Review:

The writing is incredible and these characters are downright mesmerizing. 
Dianna Roman has told a story here so smoothly elegant that I found it impossible to tear myself away at any point.
I don’t usually read slow burns, but the blurb really pulled me in on this one and I have to say, I am overjoyed that I chose this.
The intense chemistry between Daniel and Eric was spectacularly evident, and they were absolute fire together.
The steamy scenes are what fantasies are made of… 🔥🥵🔥
I cannot even begin to describe the sheer brilliance and level of maturity with which these characters were brought to life throughout these pages.
Daniel was an absolute spitfire and there could not have been anyone more perfect to go toe to toe with him than Eric. 
I loved everything from beginning to end and there is soooo much I want to say about so many things but I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.
All I can say is that this was, quite simply, a terrific read and not a book I will forget anytime soon.
An awesome experience, most definitely one of my top 3 reads for this year so far and unquestionably a re-read …💙🥰💙

Rating: 5 Stars

Miki J's Review:

This is one the best emotional cat-and-mouse type of novel that I've read in ages!!! Fair warning, this is a slow burn story, so no high spice in every chapter type of book. 

This is a story of yearning, hope, grief .. and love. Each chapter is another layer removed and we get to see them, the real "them" bit by bit. Talk about one step forward and 10 back, oh man!! 

I would say mid-angst and bittersweet... and when those walls come down, you certainly feel it. I also loved the supporting characters and dogs!! And Riley... he sure does have a snacking problem... but for a blind guy, his insights are spot on!!! I love him.... he's such a crack up!!   

So yes, you really really do need to read the books in order because there is an ongoing storyline. So for a story that's filled with emotional turmoil, it's quite simply beautiful!

Rating: 4 Stars

Rating: 4 Stars

Alyssa P's Review:

When something drastic occurs one of the main characters, Eric, saves Daniels's life, both form a bond and connect on a deeper level beyond their initial attraction.

I love the development of the relationship between the men. Eric and Daniel’s connection and interactions is endearing. 

Daniel’s past is heartbreaking, his snark and sarcasm is simply a cover for his past trauma. Eric’s feeling hollow and him dealing with his hardships was heartbreaking, but inspiring. Daniel and Eric are broken individuals, but they fit themselves perfectly.

I enjoyed reading about the secondary characters and I loved the progression of the story. I will definitely be reading more of Dianna Roman’s work in the future.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

In the Eye of the Beholder is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.