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Independent Press Award 

2024 winner

What Eyes Can't See

Paulette Stout

Barbara’s fairytale life has hit a brick wall. Worst part, she didn’t see it coming.

Barbara navigates the NYC corporate world as a confident Black lawyer, balancing sky-high career goals with heavy family expectations. But while her career thrives at 31, her engagement crumbles, leaving her heartbroken—and stuck with a non-refundable destination wedding.

Arriving at her island paradise, Barbara is swept away by Sebastian—a hazel-eyed lawyer with a snake tattoo and a mysterious past. Their connection is so deep, Barbara feels seen for the first time in her life.

For Sebastian, time stops when he’s with Barbara. It doesn’t matter that she’s rich, and he grew up on food stamps. That her clothes are designer and his hide old gang tattoos. Even that he’s white, and she’s Black. None of their differences matter until he’s handed the job meant for her.

Jobless and stripped of her family's wealth, Barbara digs deep to find herself and her voice. Suspecting she faced racial discrimination, Barbara challenges her boss in court. It’s a decision that puts Barbara and Sebastian on opposite sides of a battle they long to fight together.

As their love and convictions are put to the test, one crucial question remains, how much are they willing to risk to find justice?

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What Eyes Can't See
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