Lying Eyes (Crabbypatty’s Review)

Title: Lying Eyes
Author: Robert Winter
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: July 7, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Mystery / Suspense
Page Count: 278
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5


This bartender’s art lies in more than mixing drinks …

Randy Vaughan is a six-foot-three mass of mysteries to his customers and his friends. Why does a former Secret Service agent now own Mata Hari, a successful piano bar? Where did a muscle daddy get his passion for collecting fine art? If he’s as much a loner as his friends believe, why does he crave weekly sessions at an exclusive leather club?

Randy’s carefully private life unravels when Jack Fraser, a handsome art historian from England, walks into his bar, anxious to get his hands on a painting Randy owns. The desperation Randy glimpses in whiskey-colored eyes draws him in, as does the desire to submit that he senses beneath Jack’s elegant, driven exterior.

While wrestling with his attraction to Jack, Randy has to deal with a homeless teenager, a break-in at Mata Hari, and Jack’s relentless pursuit of the painting called Sunrise. It becomes clear someone’s lying to Randy. Unless he can figure out who and why, he may miss his chance at the love he’s dreamed about in the hidden places of his heart.

Note: Lying Eyes is a standalone gay romance novel with consensual bondage and a strong happy ending. It contains potential spoilers for Robert Winter’s prior novel, Every Breath You Take.

If you read (and enjoyed as I did) Every Breath You Take and wondered if sexy bar owner / former Secret Service agent Randy would get his own story, have no fear – it’s here and it is a great read!

Randy has a good life, but a lonely existence. When art historian Jack Fraser comes into the Mata Hari piano bar to learn more about a painting Randy purchased years ago, there’s a sexual spark between the two men, but also an awareness that something is not as it seems regarding the painting. Why does Jack want to see it so desperately and why is he unwilling to tell Randy why?

The author weaves a wonderfully textured story incorporating Randy and Jack, Danny (a homeless teenager Randy has brought into his home after rescuing him from a beating), the mystery surrounding the painting, a break-in at the bar, and an absolutely sizzling scene at a leather bar.

You brought out something in me I haven’t felt in a long time. Something good.” Ah, be honest with the guy. Randy cleared his throat. “Usually, it’s just an act. You know? I play a role. With you, though, it was natural and real. I wanted to make the decisions so that you could just be.”

Randy has a past relationship that colors his feelings about Jack and he wonders if Jack is more interested in a relationship or getting access to the painting. The mystery around the painting keeps your interest every step of the way and the resolution is a big surprise after some well-done red herrings.

But the resolution of the mystery isn’t the end of this story and I loved how Randy finds forgiveness and compassion in connection with a life-changing event in his life and finds peace. The only niggle I had was a relationship of Jack’s that came out of left field. 4.5 stars for Lying Eyes and Robert Winter is rapidly moving up my “Must Read” list of M/M authors.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Lying Eyes provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader