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Lying Eyes Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
This tale focuses on 51yo hunky ex Secret Service agent and now piano bar-owner and art enthusiast, Randy (who was a fairly prominent secondary character in Every Breath You Take), and enigmatic Englishman, Jack, an Asst. curator/art historian. I do love an age-gap romance and it’s always refreshing to read about slightly older guys instead of hairless YA’s and twenty-somethings, lol.
There’s also a whiff of the enemies-to-lovers about this one - which is another trope I love. Between Jack constantly sniffing around Randy in the hope of procuring a potentially priceless painting that he purchased in London some years earlier, and his all-round haughty and condescending demeanour and lack of appreciation for the older man’s art collection, Randy understandably takes an immediate dislike toward Jack, ensuring these two get off to a dismal start. But, beneath Jack’s too-polished veneer and their early miscommunication, there’s a genuine and almost immediate connection..and attraction. The Dom in Randy can sense the sub in Jack instantly. But with Randy understandably mistrustful due to an ex who duped him in the past and Jack’s own complicated private life, the two are reluctant to admit the depth of their feelings initially. Cue a little bit of a will-they-won’t-they romance which eventually culminates in some sexy times between the guys.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
This is not your standard M/M romance, because it has great suspense and mystery mixed in with some beautifully written descriptions of consensual bondage and discipline scenes. Winter has grown as a storyteller, because this book keeps you engaged from start to finish. The plot twists are totally unexpected, and they hit you like a punch in the gut. You come to love all of the characters, flaws and all, and in addition to learning that appearances can be deceiving, Lying Eyes also teaches us a valuable lesson about life: everyone deserves a second chance.
I had to give Winter another try. His brilliant writing called to my inner reader. I read Every Breath You Take. I enjoyed the story and was glad to find that this mystery/suspense romance didn't try to shatter my emotions. Yet I still hesitated a little with this new author. The two books were very different from each other.
When the third book, Lying Eyes, came out, I honestly thought I'd pass on it. I wasn't pulled in by the cover and the description mentioned a BDSM theme which I normally don't like reading. Then an ARC opportunity presented itself and I jumped off the fence and decided to try a third time. I kept thinking that the brilliance of the writing was worth another go.
It took less than two pages to suck me in to the story. There is something very smooth and compelling about Robert Winter's writing. It's the rare author who can take my mind completely into the plot so that I lose sight of the mechanics of the writing.
I'm convinced. I'm sold. I'm a fan!
In his latest novel, Winter let's us get to know Randy. We met him as a side character in the previous book. After reading this one, I feel I know Randy so well that I have to remind myself he's not a friend in real life.
Randy is big, strong and smart. His only weakness is a caring nature. He's been taken advantage of before and it cost him. So he's more skeptical now. He guards himself against trusting.
When Jack barges into his life, Randy shores up the walls of his reserve against the immediate attraction. He's not about to let himself be played for a fool twice in his life.
I found myself agreeing with Randy's impressions and actions where Jack was concerned. I respected his careful assessment of the situations. I admired his smart deductions about Jack's intentions.
If you would have told me, before I read this book, that I'd be interested in a plot theme revolving around art, I would have rolled my eyes. But Winter sold me on it. I bought in quickly to Jack's career as a museum curator. I was fascinated by his process in identifying and describing paintings. I felt Jack's yearning to solidly build his career and his self-worth by confirming the find of a lifetime. I worried that Jack could be capable of going too far in his aim to succeed.
I especially worried about Randy when his caring nature was fully revealed in the way he helped and sheltered a homeless teenage boy. Randy's relationship with Danny was the catalyst for my heart. I fell head over heels for Randy when I saw how caring and sympathetic he could really be. Danny served to clearly show the type of man Randy truly was.
I'm not going to post any spoilers. I'm not even going to hint at spoilers, because you should read this one blind to the plot. I'm only going to mention two things. One, this book can be easily read as a stand alone. Previous characters appear but previous knowledge of them is not needed to fully enjoy this story. Two, the BDSM aspect is barely there. We only get two small, mild scenes.
This is a mystery/suspense/thriller romance. More focus is on the mystery than the romance. The romance naturally evolves out of the plot.
Robert Winter is now an auto-buy author for me. Spectacular writing!!! You'd never believe he hasn't been writing for decades. It's really that polished.
This review ARC was provided via IndiGo Marketing & Design.
Lying Eyes by Robert Winter is considered a standalone book, but I would strongly recommend reading Every Breath You Take (EBYT) first as many of the characters also appeared in that book, and Lying Eyes contains spoilers for what happened in EBYT. And, it's no hardship to read EBYT, just check out my review to see how much I loved it!
We met Randy in EBYT, co-owner and bartender of Mata Hari, a gay piano bar. In EBYT, we learned about Randy's Secret Service background and saw him in action when he saved Zachary. Randy is the type of person we all want in our life; he's loyal, helps others, trustworthy, and is a good guy. What we didn't know in EBYT, is that Randy is into leather, bondage, and having control over his partners. Randy loves art, and bought it all over the world. His artwork wasn't bought for the stature or value, but instead for what he enjoyed. Randy's surprised when he's contacted about a painting he bought with a request to buy it back. He ignores the request, and ignores the letter from an art historian in England requesting to view the painting. When Jack, the art historian shows up at Mata Hari, Randy is suspicious of him but he's also attracted to him.
This story is told from Randy's POV, so I didn't feel like I got to know Jack. But, I can say I was not a fan of Jack for most of this story. I didn't trust him, he was secretive, and just seemed to think that Randy should just provide information and trust him with no reason to do so. And, I really didn't like Jack after he did share a very important personal detail about himself, that should have definitely been shared before naked time happened! Sorry, I don't want to spoil anything! I think Randy acting so far outside of his normal self with Jack showed the strength of their chemistry.
There was a lot going on in this book, but you're totally not aware of it (at least I remained clueless) until it all came to a head. There was still a mystery in this story, though I didn't realize it at first and it was completely different than EBYT, which I thought was great. I don't want to give away any parts of that mystery, but there was a part that I was totally suspicious of a person, then as the story went along I thought I was just too untrustworthy. Turns out I was right, but telling you anything about that will give away way too much!! And, even if you're suspicious of this person too, I'd be shocked if you guessed his whole story! There were so many twists and turns once it all goes down, that I had to pause in my reading to think about what just happened. And, again, Randy's reaction and he does after all of this, shows the type of man he is and why I loved him.
Randy and Jack didn't get it together until the end of the book, so I never felt like I got to see them interact as a couple until the epilogue. It was full of togetherness to let us see how their relationship was progressing, but I would have liked to have a little bit of that during the story.
I loved that this was a story about a man in his 50's, something that isn't always found in books! I'm not typically a fan of the BDSM element and was a little surprised by it, but I thought the author wrote it well, and it didn't impede my enjoyment of this story. You definitely need to read this story, but don't do it before Every Breath You Take. Take the time and read them in the appropriate order!
Rating: 4.5 stars!!
Lying Eyes is 100% spectacular and has everything I love in a great story.
There is a clever mystery, with all kinds of interesting facts about the art world. There’s a hot and spicy romance with art historian Jack Fraser. And first and foremost is the study of the main character, Randy Vaughan. Winter delves deep into the psyche of this man, and it is fascinating as the issues of his past are revealed and shape the story.
Randy is a loving, generous, and honorable man and caring for others is ingrained in his soul. At 51, he has spent recent years closed off, lonely and unfulfilled, due to some regrettable events in his past. As the story unfolds, Randy realizes in order to live the life he wants now, he must comes to terms with his past and return to his core values.
When Jack walks into Randy’s bar their initial attraction is intense.
Cautious and defensive, Randy is suspicious of Jack and unwilling to trust him. There is some wonderful dialogue between the two and it seems, despite their attraction, they can’t overcome their animosity. When Randy runs into Jack at a local event… oh holy hot damn, if I say any more I’ll spoil it and Winter has everything set up so beautifully I don’t want to take away from that wonderful scene.
The writing in this story is very clever.
Winter creatively weaves in references to ‘eyes’, how many emotions and expressions are conveyed through eyes. I also enjoy the message about the private person and the public person, the two sides to each of us, Randy and Jack are perfect examples of this.
The mystery in Lying Eyes evolves slowly and builds in interest as more details unfold. I enjoy the pace Robert Winter sets, the slow reveal, but when stuff starts to heat up, watch out! I sincerely hope this is not the last we see of Jack and Randy. At the very least I hope Winter gifts us with a few shorts… possibly involving a certain police officer’s uniform? Well you’ll have to read the book to find out what I mean, and I hope you do.