Eye of the Beholder is the first book in Ingrid Weaver’s “Eagle Squadron” series. This Army squadron is comprised of the much-vaunted Delta Force, and this particular story has a plot line that can most kindly be described as familiar. However, Weaver infuses it with enthusiasm and a realism that makes the reading of it enjoyable.
The story opens as a plane originating in Jamaica is hijacked to a small Caribbean island. Passenger Glenna Hastings has been elevated to passenger most at risk from the terrorists as they execute the captain to reinforce the seriousness of their demands. They are demanding that a convicted drug dealer incarcerated in the United States be released along with money and fuel.
The Eagle Squadron attacks and they are all trying to escape when island forces join the kidnappers. Sgt. Rafe Marek stops to help Glenna who had fallen out of the plane during the rescue effort and sprained her ankle. He is shot in the leg and they find themselves captured.
They are taken to the island stronghold of the terrorists who turn out to be drug dealers seeking the release of the brother of the leader. Realizing time is short, Rafe manages to orchestrate their escape and they are off on a trek across the island to try and hook up with his teammates.
Both are injured, and his open wound becomes infected as they face one challenge after another during their escape. Not to mention the fact that the island population derives its income from the growing and production of drugs.
During their time together each becomes aware of the emotional morass in which the other flounders. Rafe has been hideously scarred from an accident where he tried and failed to save his younger brother. Glenna was born of wealth and the daughter of a philandering father and alcoholic mother. She had long ago left the security of her family and is self supporting in a very responsible job.
Relationships are of course tops on both of their avoid lists, and they attribute their deepening attraction to the emotional stress of the moment. And here Eye of the Beholder becomes original. After Rafe and Glenna are rescued, the psychiatrists debriefing Glenna try to persuade her that an adrenaline rush always does strange things to one’s libido.
Ingrid Weaver crafts characters that are realistic, interesting and dynamic. The storyline is credible even if Rafe is a first cousin to Superman. And the romance between Glenna and Rafe is challenged in so many ways that it loses the often fairy tale feeling in the ending.