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5
Sex, Lies and Celluloid
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2008
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.

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?

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?

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.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2007
If there is a thing I hate is a cheating man and maybe this is the reason why I didn't read soon this book. In the blurb you read pretty clear that Daniel is a cheating husband who hooks up on internet for sex. So adds promiscuos to cheating. I should hate this man. And instead I was fascinated by him like Shane, the PI Daniel's wife has hired to tail her husband.

Jodi Payne and Chris Owen have the mastery to decipt a character that gains your sympathy instead of hating him (truly I should have remembered first that Chris Owen has made the same with another cheating character, Tor in Bareback).

So the story is pretty simple: Daniel is cheating on his wife with other men (have I said it enough time in my pretty short pill review? :-) ), Shane finds it but finds also himself falling in love for this man and having no courage to unmask him with his wife. But Daniel is also a politician, and being gay and at the same time married is something that can destroy his career. And then, even if Shane manages to get to know Daniel, how can he say him that he was been paid to tail him? How can Daniel trust him anymore?

Daniel is a strange character. I could say that he is pretty driven by his lust. He is not kinky or bad, he really is a good man, but he likes sex and tries to find it where he can. But even if he has always a onestand encounter, he manages to take intact his good image and this aura of nice guy.

Shane sells himself short. He is really a good guy, gentle and caring. He has also a conscience, he is not the typical cynical private investigator. He is also the type who go every sunday night to dinner with his mother. And blushes. He is so cute, not in a physical way, but for attitude. He is a guy who believes in love forever.

So both Daniel and Shane are characters who act badly, but who are also so nice that you can't not love them. And I have to say, if you have my same prejudices about cheating man or promiscuos sex, try to pass over and read this book: it will be a very nice discover.
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VINE VOICEon December 9, 2009
Warning: This review might contain what some people consider SPOILERS.

Rating: 6/10

PROS:
- There's an adorable secondary character who's best friends with Shane and is alternately sweet/supportive and frank/witchy. She's refreshingly non-stereotypical, too. I also really liked one of Daniel's close friends.
- A couple of the conversations the two main guys have occur via Instant Messaging, and they're pretty cute. Simultaneously hesitant and flirty.
- The ending is rather open for my usual tastes (no worries, though: it's happy), but I didn't mind it here. The romance is a little on the whirlwind side, so the conclusion felt okay to me.
- Once the characters finally have (real) sex with each other, it's pretty hot. One of them is a dirty talker, and I found some of his comments rather stimulating.

CONS:
- There's quite a bit of sex in this book (as I assumed there would be, judging by the book's title), but I didn't really enjoy much of it. I'm into passionate, "lovemaking"-type sex scenes, though. If you're into voyeurism, you might like the sex in this book a lot: many of the encounters involve Shane watching as Daniel hooks up with other people.
- Shane is a private investigator, and I couldn't help finding him just a little on the sleazy side. He feels super guilty about spying, of course, but he also kind of gets off on it (well, okay...scratch the "kind of"). He does redeem himself by the end of the book, though.
- The last several chapters felt a little off to me. The scene when Daniel finally discovers the truth about Shane didn't go at all the way I expected it to go (lots of action, but not the kind I had in mind), and the confrontation with Daniel's wife seemed rushed and/or unrealistic.

Overall comments: This isn't a bad book; it's written well, as is the case with other books I've read by these authors, both singly and together. I just wasn't that into it. The romance moved a little quickly (slash oddly) for my taste, and I didn't love either of the lead characters.
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on May 14, 2008
Gay private investigator Shane Mullin gets a routine assignment from Janet Brint: to follow her husband, Daniel, and see if her suspicions are correct that spending time away from home and spending money due to his increasing use of drugs. What is not typical is what Shane finds: that Daniel Brint, an attorney and city councilman, is actually cheating on her, with a series of fairly anonymous men he hooks up with via the internet, whom he meets for one-time aggressive sexual encounters. What was even more unusual, as Shane spied on the cheating husband, is that he felt not just empathy for the closeted politician, but a strong attraction to him as well, quickly becoming an obsession. With the help of his sassy but resourceful lesbian assistant, Celia, Shane finds out more about Janet Brint and her motivation in having her husband investigated, and finds one of Daniel's online ads, which he replies to and begins a series of text message flirtations.

An interesting premise, well-presented in this highly erotic and sexually-explicit novel, which manages to touch on serious issues such as the public's right to know about the personal lives of its elected officials, and whether someone who starts off with furtive one-night-stand encounters while closeted can possibly deal with a monogamous gay relationship. I give it four stars out of five.
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on January 11, 2008
Chris and Jodi are terrific M/M erotica writers and here they have given us an entertaining story with a light and sexy plot. I will not go into the plot as Elisa has done a great review on this one. The story starts off well but sort of tapers off towards the end. On the other hand this is a romance erotica, so it is expected.

The narration is wonderful as we get to know Shane very well and enjoy the story from his angle. But because it is a narration it is not easy to get to know Daniel and this may be the reason I find his returned love for Shane not that convincing. Afterall Daniel is most promiscuous early in the story as he goes for man after man. Here the moments of voyeurism is darn sexy.

Shane's lesbian sidekick, Celia, with her somewhat protective streak over her boss, is an enjoyable character and their gentle bantering is engaging and humorous. And when she makes out on her boss' desk...(chuckle)

Overall an entertaining story with an appealing character in Shane. It just needs a little bit more angst.
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