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Eye of the Beholder (Nebraska Historical Romances Book 4) [Kindle Edition]

Ruth Ann Nordin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Mary Peters despairs that she will never marry. At nineteen, she has no prospects of finding a husband, so she takes matters into her own hands and becomes a mail-order bride. When she arrives to Omaha, Nebraska to meet the man she's due to marry, he takes one look at her homely appearance and rejects her.

But fate has other plans for Mary. Dave Larson happens to be nearby and thinks she will make a good wife. Though she is stunned that someone as handsome and as kind as Dave would ask her to marry him, she accepts. She knows that this marriage will not bear the fruits of love. Love, after all, is for beautiful women. Isn't it?

Books in the Nebraska Historical Romance Series
Book 1: Her Heart's Desire
Book 2: A Bride for Tom (novella)
Book 3: A Husband for Margaret (novella)
Book 4: Eye of the Beholder
Book 5: The Wrong Husband
Book 6: The Shotgun Groom
Book 7: To Have and To Hold
Book 8: His Redeeming Bride
Book 9: Isaac's Decision

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

This is the current edition of the book.

About the Author

Ruth Ann Nordin has written other romances, including His Redeeming Bride, Meant To Be, Falling In Love With Her Husband, An Unlikely Place for Love, and With This Ring, I Thee Dread. For a complete list of her books, visit

Product Details

  • File Size: 667 KB
  • Print Length: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Wedded Bliss Romances, LLC (July 29, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002JM0B4W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,766 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! January 17, 2010
Mary Peters live in Maine in the late 1800's. A nineteen year old girl with a "too big" nose, "too thin" lips and freckles, she's left behind without so much as a suitor while all of her sisters have left the house to be married. With an eye to the papers, she stumbles across an ad from Neil Craftsman, a Nebraska farmer seeking a bride. He asks for a woman who is hardworking, dependable and capable of bearing children, yet he never mentions the word pretty.

It fits Mary to a t.

Despite her parents' objections, she boards the train and spends a week traveling to the prairies of Nebraska. Only, when she gets there, she discovers that Neil did want something pretty after all, and Mary is just too plain!

A lesser woman would have run crying, but Mary is a strong woman who refuses to go cringing back home. It's this exact resilience that impresses Dave Larson and leads him to ask her to marry him instead. Though reluctant to accept, he manages to convince her and, by the end of the day, Mary Peters is a married woman.

But, her mother never taught her about marriage, and certainly no one instructed her in the ways of farming back in her hometown in Maine. The next several months are a learning experience for her, in more ways than one, the question is can she learn to trust Dave's feelings and see herself through his eyes?

When I started this book I only intended to read a couple of chapters; I ended up reading the whole book in one setting. Mary is a character that I could quickly identify with, from her desire to please, to the rejection she has so often gotten from men, who see only what's on the outside, not what's inside.

But this isn't just Mary's story, it is also Dave's who, after tragedy strikes, has to learn how to cope.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beauty is definitely found on the inside of this book! October 29, 2009
Ruth Ann Nordin's "Eye of the Beholder" is the beautiful tale of a woman named Mary, who answers an ad for a mail order bride, fearing that she is not eye-pleasing enough to be asked by anyone in her hometown, let alone her home state state of Maine. Quickly, she says goodbye to her family and finds herself in Omaha, Nebraska.

Rejected based on her appearance on the train platform by the poster of the ad, she meets Dave Larson, who immediately proposes. Trying to ignore all of the reasons why she shouldn't, Mary takes the chance of a lifetime and humbly accepts.

Throughout the story, the reader feels for Mary, who has many the insecurity to overcome, and cheers for her as the community quickly accepts her for the person she is within. The reader also witnesses the meaning of true love, as Dave and Mary get to know each other as husband and wife, confidants and friends.

The author has a knack of making the reader feel what her characters feel, whether it be from the perspective of Mary, Dave, the Larson family women, or the original poster of the ad, Neil Craftsman.

There are many lessons to be learned from this book, making me think it is one that can be read more than once, discovering more lessons through later reads. I definitely enjoyed this book.

J.R. Reardon
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful Read! February 23, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Ruth Ann Nordin's "Eye of the Beholder". I found my self quickly captured in the story of plain Mary Peters and heart of gold Dave Lawson.

I loved the journey they took to come to the understanding that they were in love.. but most specially the journey Mary took in realizing that she was indeed beautiful. Having been told her whole life by those closest to her, the very people that should have been lifting her up her whole life, that she was plain and/or ugly, she believes them. Believes them so much that she interprets a lot of the other characters actions is due to her own appearance. She carries the knowledge of her unattractiveness with her everywhere she goes. How many of us know this scenario from our own lives?

We witness the transformation of not only Mary, but in all of those around her. We see how each character comes to the realization that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes (and actions), and that it is most assuredly in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes the beholder being our very own selves. Ruth Ann Nordin has written a wonderful Novel, with deep characters and a message that everyone could stand to remember. Beauty, as society now or then in the 1870's defined it, really isn't where its at. Beauty is so much more than what we each look like. It is in who we each are as individuals. Very good read!
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm puzzled by the reviews May 29, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm giving this book 1 star, and that's only because the premise for the book was sweet and the main characters were likable. As for the writing, it was mediocre at best. Aspects of both the plot and the dialogue were clearly implausible/unrealistic. The villain's behavior at the end, and the MC's response to it isn't realistic either.

This story is set in the late 1800's, yet people used modern figures of speech. One of the heroine's SILs has an argument with her husband about the gender of their expected child, saying it was the husband's contribution (sperm) that decides the sex of the child, not the wife's. (This is a recent discovery.) The heroine's carnal knowledge vs. virginity/innocence didn't jive either. She mused that she didn't know anything about sex and that her mother and sisters hadn't bothered to tell her anything, yet she knew she couldn't get pregnant 'if her husband didn't finish' and she recognized the feel his 'arousal' and knew when he 'found his release' the very first time they made love.

The beginning of the story not only lacked good descriptions, but was too neat and tidy to boot. The plot offered opportunities for some serious conflict and suspense, yet the author was apparently in too much of a rush to get the MCs together and didn't milk it for anywhere near what it was worth. The author could have had Dave find Mary a widow or someone in town to stay with in an effort to help her find work (her plan 'B') and then come back for her the next day, secretly wanting to wed her, while in the meantime leading the reader to believe the heroine had chosen to use the return train ticket her mother bought... maybe exchanging it for one to another town instead of back home. That would have had me fretting and on the edge of my seat.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars This was almost a good book. Two more passes with a good editor ...
This was almost a good book. Two more passes with a good editor and this could ave been a great genre romance. As it was, this felt like the outline a novel. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Nadine Romick
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
enjoy this authors books great read for me.
Published 11 days ago by picky mom
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I like the continuity
Published 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely read!
A wonderful heartwarming story. How fortunate there are some people who can see past outer beauty to see another persons inner beauty!
Published 29 days ago by Ginny Keenan
5.0 out of 5 stars This book started out sad with people judging what people look on the...
This book started out sad with people judging what people look on the outside, but then it turned out good by what is in the inside.
Published 1 month ago by Pauline Felcyn
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
I enjoyed reading it
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Thoroughly enjoyed this story !
Published 1 month ago by Ruth Ann Kolb
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good book
Published 1 month ago by GAIL NICHOLS
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful life with love and kindness.
I loved Mary and Dave's story. Mary is my hero. Such a kind and generous person who sees the good in everyone. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST read
My favorite book by Ruth Ann Nordin. YOU JUST HAVE TO READ IT. I'm not gonna spoil it for you by telling what happens.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Ruth Ann Nordin lives in Nebraska with her husband and four sons. When she's not playing wife and mother, she's reading and writing. She has written over fifty books, and forty-seven of those are romances. Her romances include Regencies, historical westerns, and contemporaries.

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