Title: Sex, Lies and Celluloid
Authors: Jodi Payne and Chris Owen
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary, GLBT (M/M), Voyeurism
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Private Detective Shane Mullin has been hired by Councilor Daniel Brint’s wife Janet to follow her husband to find out if he is buying drugs. At first Shane thinks this is easy money, after all how hard can it be to tail Daniel and take a few pictures of him doing illegal stuff? Then he finds out that the very married Councilor’s double life does not involve buying drugs, he is having sex, lots of gay sex.
As he sees Daniel having indiscriminate hook-ups with numerous men Shane becomes more and more enamored of him and wishes that he is the one having sex with him. Then he does something no self-respecting private detective should ever do, he inserts himself into the action and starts an online relationship with his client’s husband. Soon this is not enough as they move up to having phone sex then real sex. Shane and Daniel have a lot in common – neither can stop what he is doing, Daniel is obsessed with sex and Shane is obsessed with Daniel.
The story is told from Shane’s POV so we don’t get much insight into Daniel’s feelings for Shane, or his motivations for staying with his wife despite being gay and making innumerable booty calls which could expose him to blackmail. Janet’s motivations for hiring Shane are suspect since she appears to have nothing to gain by exposing Daniel and you get the sense that she may be hiding something as well. Shane has to extricate himself from his web of lies to both Daniel and Janet and there is no easy way to do this. Daniel, on the other hand, will have to come clean about his sexual orientation to both his wife and the public that elected him. What wonderful plot twists for the reader to unravel. How will these characters disentangle themselves?
Shane’s lesbian sidekick Celia is a terrific supporting character. The teasing exchanges between her and Shane are so, so funny; obviously they care about and look out for each other. At one point she tells him that she will train him to be a bitch in no time. The scene where she ‘does a Daniel’ on Shane’s desk with her latest love interest is incredibly comical, and when she walks in on him and Daniel in the same office in flagrante delicto, what can I say?
There is so much sex going on in Daniel’s life, with multiple partners sometimes in the same day that you wonder how he finds the time to do his job. Shane on the other hand is so in love with Daniel he has lost sight of the fact that Janet hired him to investigate her husband and that she is his client. The dialogue between these two horny characters in this very hot book is really steamy as they have numerous phone sex encounters; I had to take breaks from reading on several occasions.
Sex, Lies and Celluloid is definitely not a primer on how to have a loving relationship with your spouse but it will entertain you and make you laugh out loud, although it is not without pathos. Daniel’s character is the most promiscuous one I have met to date and if you hate cheating spouses this book will curl your hair, but Daniel is so likeable despite all of his flaws I became a fan. Jodi Payne and Chris Owen have done it again, written a book that I couldn’t put down, and in the process have created different types of heroes in Daniel and Shane. Daniel is depraved and decadent but he is engaging and very sweet. Shane on the other hand, although just as immoral as Daniel, is single and looking for love but in all the wrong places. Sex, Lies and Celluloid is a great read that will engage, enrage and amuse you with really cool dialogue, and you will reread it time and again because you can’t help yourself.
This book was previously reviewed for Literary Nymphs Reviews