The fear of getting caught is half the fun.
Lowly art gallery assistant Caesar Romano is freely out of the closet. Now he’d just like to get out of his Nana’s guest room. Everything—his reputation and his financial freedom—is riding on the success of tonight’s gallery opening. If only he could shake free of the past so easily.
A mysterious gatecrasher, Dan Green, looks like a promising addition to his pending new life—until Caesar’s ex shows up and suddenly the opening disintegrates into a half-naked dance melee. When the glitter settles, a missing sculpture of Justin Timberlake has Caesar up to his eyebrows in extortion, intrigue and a wild sexual adventure underneath, inside, and on top of a variety of furnishings.
As the cast of suspects piles up, so do the questions. Like who’s really blackmailing whom? And what does a stolen paint-by-numbers clown matter when Dan is so outrageously capable of blowing Caesar’s resistance to smithereens?
Catch Me If You Can is Book 1 in a new series by L.B. Gregg- Romano and Allbright.
The first thing I noticed about this book is the fast pace. The second is the number of characters. Third, the story is hysterically funny. Put these three facts together and I realized that not only would I have to pay attention, but I was in for a rollicking good time
Caesar works as an assistant for Peter Stuhlmann at the Stuhlmann Gallery. The pay is crappy so he’s always broke but he refuses to ask for help from his family other than his Nana in whose home he has a guest bedroom since he can’t afford a place of his own. The book opens as he’s hosting an exhibit for Jean Luc Pappineau’s sculptures at the gallery, and the exhibition was going quite well until his ex, Shep, with whom he had lived for 3 years, showed up. Caesar was livid! He had not invited Shep and he was so furious that he choked on an olive that didn’t want to be dislodged. After disgracing himself by eventually spitting the olive into the drink of the woman he most wanted to impress, gallery owner Mallory Allbright, the evening went downhill pretty fast. Soon the servers were almost naked and everyone else was drunk, as the gin he had bought wholesale from his uncle flowed freely. Sex was everywhere but none for Caesar who was busy checking out Detective Dan Green, another uninvited guest who seemed equally smitten with him, but he was wearing a ring.
The next morning when Caesar arrived at the gallery the security was system was not engaged and someone had made off with a bust of Justin Timberlake and a valuable painting belonging to Mallory. There was even more bad news – Shep had stayed over at the gallery, stinking drunk, and he was naked as a jaybird except for a watch on his dick that previously resided on Justin’s bust. To make matters worse Dan Green showed up just as Caesar was trying to find out who stole the valuable exhibits, and why Shep was naked in the gallery trying to figure out what time it was. 🙂
The thrust of the story, other than the developing relationship between Dan and Caesar, was that almost everyone was being blackmailed for small piddling amounts and they were requested to make payments through PayPal – obviously not a very experienced blackmailer. The cast of suspects was limitless and Dan and Caesar had their investigative work cut out trying to find out why the cash demands were not in the thousands and why Caesar’s best friend Poppy was losing money despite her business having all the elements for success. Was someone stealing from her? What were Brandon’s secrets other than looking freaky? How about Rachael the former hermaphrodite and now hot looking woman? Was she all that she appeared to be on the surface? Peter Stuhlmann, Caesar’s weird boss, certainly had a lot of secrets and exposure could mean disaster for him. There were so many characters it would be difficult for me to give you a quick synopsis but I will say that Caesar’s family took the top prize. I loved his parents as well as his Uncle Tino who represented the modest criminal element in the family and had all the characteristics that you would expect of the Italian Mafioso, except on a much smaller scale. Everyone in the book had secrets except Caesar, and Dan had one of the biggest. Would exposure mean the end of Dan’s relationship with Caesar?
If I have one criticism about this book it’s that the pacing seemed almost frenetic at times – before I absorbed some of the sub plots, there was something else happening elsewhere almost simultaneously. I had to wear roller skates to keep up.
Two of the characters that I really liked, other than the protagonists, were the homeless men Captain and Joseph, who loved to pee on parked vehicles and always seemed to be flush with money going by the fact that they were never hungry, had a ready supply of liquor and Joseph loved to read romance novels! Go figure. The other characters were a hoot especially Brandon who was so afraid of growing old that he had “procedures” done regularly to his face which sometimes made it look downright scary. Dan and Caesar seemed to fit together as they both had a liking for sex in public places where the danger that they could be caught heightened the excitement, in addition to the fact that they both liked to be led around by their dicks. They were a match made in heaven and Caesar loved the fact that Dan was openly gay and loved to be demonstrative, which was quite different from his ex Shep who had been in the closet when they were together and was even more paranoid now that he had a new TV deal.
Catch Me If You Can is a fun book that will keep you in stitches and some of the characterizations are inspired. Definitely recommended!
Catch Me if You Can is available from Samhain Publishing on Tuesday March 2nd.