Book two of my And Then Came Love series will be released on June 28th. It’s available for pre-order now! Check it out!
Excerpt Play It Again. Copyright 2016. Sara Preston.
A classic example of don’t judge a book by it’s cover!
Trevor stopped to look at a picture on the wall. “Check out this picture.”
Arianna looked at the picture. It was a black and white, grainy photo of an American soldier in his dress uniform, sitting in what looked like a prison cell with a man in a wrinkled and worn SS uniform a shock of blond curly hair on his head. “The curly hair seems out of place, but then again the uniform seems out of place as well.”
“That man spent the entire war in that one uniform. It became more and more tattered as the years went by.” A voice with an Irish accent spoke from behind her.
Arianna turned quickly to see the tall, white-haired man standing behind her. There was still dark hair in his beard, but all the hair on his head was white.
He held out his hand to her.
She gave it to him and he brought it to his lips. “Brennen O’Riley, but the kids call me Pops.”
“Arianna Halsey.” She smiled. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“And surprisingly enough, I’ve heard a bit about you as well.” Brennen hugged Trevor before pointing at the picture. “You remember the story I told you about the S.S. man and the red-headed Goddess?”
Trevor nodded. “I told that story to Arianna on our first date.”
“Aye, what a boring first date that must have been.” Brennen grinned. “The man in the picture is the S.S. man I told you about. They arrested him as soon as he arrived in Germany after the war. He came down to face his punishment, even though he deserved a medal.”
“From what I understood he did so much good for not only his family, but many of the people of Norway, how could he still be punished?”
Brennen motioned for the two of them to sit down at the table. He joined them and looked across the table at Arianna. “When Trevor told you the story, how did you immediately react to being told I was asked to help an S.S. man?”
“I told him I hoped you didn’t help.” Arianna looked down at her hands. She’d judged him strictly on his uniform and not for the person he was.
“That’s right. He wore the S.S. uniform. It didn’t matter what he did and how many people he saved. When he entered Germany all they saw was the uniform and therefore he was the enemy.” Brennan leaned forward and took her hand. “Had I been approached by an S.S. man who asked me to save his life, I probably would have told him to go to hell? Instead, I was approached by his lovely wife and family. They convinced me what a good guy he was. I, too, would have seen the uniform and assumed he deserved to be punished.”
“It doesn’t seem fair.” Arianna glanced back at the picture. “No one should be judged harshly for the clothes they wear.”
“No, they shouldn’t.” Pops shook his head. “But it happens all the time. Kids are gang members if they wear certain colors. The soldiers coming back from Vietnam faced similar issues. We judge people because we don’t know them. And that man–” Brennan pointed at the picture. “—is the perfect example of don’t judge a book by its cover.”
“I bet his family is incredibly proud of him.”
“They are.” Brennen nodded. “Every single one of them. They moved to America to get away from the stigma. To some people they’ll only ever see the uniform. I’ve had people leave the bar when they see that picture.”
“That’s not right either.”
“It’s not, but it’s how the world works, lassie.” Brennen smiled.