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Straight Lies Paperback – April 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; 1 Original edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758228570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758228574
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,806,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A pair of petty crooks think they've lucked into the ultimate blackmail material in Byrnes's unwieldy latest. Chase LaMarca and Grant Lambert get information that gay icon Romeo Romero is actually straight, but their incompetent associate loses the incriminating videotape in a cab. Before LaMarca and Lambert can retrieve the tape, it falls into the hands of tabloid reporter Ian Hadley, who has blackmail on his mind, too. The gaggle go to extremes (and the Hamptons) to get what they want in this comedy of errors, and while the characters are charmingly inept, the coincidences that drive the plot are woefully absurd, and the setting is threadbare window dressing. The competing capers have some fun moments, but the plotting leaves much to be desired. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this caper heist, Byrnes (When the Stars Come Out, 2006) comes up with obstacles likely and improbable as Grant and his longtime lover, Chase, try to steal a compromising videotape of gay film legend Romeo Romero (who’s been out and proud for decades) making hot love in his hot tub to a hot, buxom blond. The actor’s legions of gay fans would reel from the revelation of their Romeo’s closeted heterosexuality, so blackmail’s the scheme. As the two small-time con men try to claw their way up the crime ladder, they add an assortment of larcenous misfits to their gang until it resembles a hilarious bad-dream team. They then fail to secure the tape, so decide to re-create the sex scenario. Of course, everything that can go wrong does, making all the scheming and strategizing that somewhat slow the action resolve into a laugh-out-loud endgame farce with definite switch-hit appeal. --Whitney Scott

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Jamie filmed a famous gay actor and activist, Romeo Romero, having sex... with a woman.
Elisa
It's just a straight-up fun caper, with great characters, lots of unexpected twists and turns, and extremely witty dialogue.
D Lennon
Chase and Grant are a gay couple who both live and work together ... but their "business" is a bit unique.
Bob Lind

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elisa on November 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
This novel is less "romance" than expected and probably funnier. First of all the two main characters, from the blurb and even from the cover I was expecting for them to be two young guys with big hopes and few means, and instead they are two partners in crime in a work and love relationship older than 15 years. So between them everything is easy, they know each other and their mutual faults. There is not much romance, meaning that there are not much love scenes (and never once we arrive to a sex scene) but between Chase and Grant there is for sure a love relationship. Here and there you can also have an hint that it was not always simple, that maybe sometime they had to overcome some obstacles in their path, but more or less they were successful in doing that, and I have never had the feeling that their relationship was in trouble.

Problem is that at more or less 40 years old, they are too old to continue to live on expedients, they maybe want to retire or arriving at least near that. And so when Jamie comes to them with a not so legal proposition, Grant sees the chance to hit the big one. Jamie filmed a famous gay actor and activist, Romeo Romero, having sex... with a woman. The tape is worth a lot, the problem is that Jamie lost it! In a cab! From that moment on Grant starts to plan a way to have it back and more he goes on, more people are involved and more I was trying to understand if, once everyone was paid back, something for Chase and Grant's retirement plan was still available.

As I said, the novel is more a comedy than a romance, and even if it deals with thieves and blackmails, for sure it's not a mystery or an adventure plot... probably the only mystery is how our heroes manage to not end up in a jail, since they didn't give me the idea to be real criminals.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ford Ka on September 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Can an openly gay man be outed? Well, he can if he is only pretending to be gay in order to keep the remnants of his acting career alive while actually he has a soft spot for girls with big bosoms. When Romeo Romero is caught on tape with such a girl by one of his guests, and Grant Lambert and Chase La Marca hear about the fact and the existence of the tape (the whereabouts thereof are currently uknown) the adventure begins.
Grant and Chase are partners in more ways than one - they live together and break the law together. Their specialty are gentlemen with a taste for very young girls. They find their victims on the Internet and before the gentlemen know what is going on, they lose their cars and credit cards. Grant and Chase are small-time crooks who hope for a big break and blackmailing Romeo Romero seems to be a chance for such a break. But the cookie turns out to be a tough one so they will have to work very hard and ask all their friends to help to get to Romero's money.
Byrnes succeeds once again - the novel has a good pace, the characters are well drawn, the story is (almost) probable. This is not another candidate for the Pulitzer prize but a very good candidate for your beach/pool reading during summer holidays. It took my copy to Cyprus and I did not regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JB414 on May 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
Rob Byrnes has done it again. "Straight Lies" is a hilarious adventure introducing us to con-men Chas and Grant and well as re-introducing a few previous characters we have met in Byrnes other books!

Great laughs and hilarity ensues when Chas and Grant plan the biggest caper of their "careers."

A great read! I look forward to more adventures of this mad-cap gang!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Burgoine on April 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
'Straight Lies' is a refreshingly fun and mad-cap adventure that brings to mind Ocean's 11 and Janet Evanovich, only with a pair of morally flexible gay protagonists named Chase and Grant, a lesbian real-estate agent and her girlfriend, an alcoholic driver, and the funniest boy-toys I've had the pleasure of reading since, well, 'Trust Fund Boys.'

It all begins when our two con-men protagonists realize that there's a tape out there with the famous gay star Romeo Romero gettin' it on in his hot-tub... with a woman. Since the man's career was built on his brave "coming out" this offers a blackmail situation, and Chase and Grant aren't going to turn it down.

Which is when the tape goes missing, a sleazy tabloid writer, an ex-cop, and even Tori Spelling get throw into the mix. The plans - and new plans - and improvisations when the plans don't work - fly fast and furious, and the real joy is in the collision of these clever characters as they try to make something stick long enough to walk with the payoff.

Byrnes is even nice enough to drop some gentle cameos in there for fans of his earlier books to chortle over.

By now, you'd think I would have learned that when cracking a Rob Byrnes novel, I should make sure to seclude myself somewhere first, so that when - inevitably - I let loose with barking laughs, I'm not making other people nervous. I didn't learn, and to the passengers of the #95 bus, the people in the food court last Tuesday, and my husband (who was trying to sleep), I apologize. But you really should go buy a copy.

Well, maybe not my husband. He can borrow mine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wayne M. Malin on December 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Partners in crime--and life--Grant and Chase survive in get-rick-quick schemes in which they manage to get money off unsuspecting people by any means possible. They want to pull off a big job that could let them retire in style. They realize there's a tape showing openly gay actor Romeo Romero having sex--with a woman! They decide to steal the tape and blackmail the star. However the tape is left in a New York City cab and things go out of control. Throw in a sleazy tabloid editor, two lesbians, an Internet stalker, an alcoholic ex-cop and a twinky and you have a very confusing and funny comedy.

I do have one big problem about this book. I love it but there are way too many characters to follow. I eventually got them straight (if you'll pardon the expression) but it was annoying. Still this moves quickly, has great characters and very funny (if totally improbable) situations. One-liners fly fast and furious and I hated having to put it down. Fast and funny--well worth reading.
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More About the Author

Rob Byrnes is a native of Upstate New York (specifically, Rochester; with briefer residencies in Schenectady and Albany) who moved to Manhattan in 1997 to make his fortune... but ended up writing novels and short stories instead. Byrnes's third novel, "When the Stars Come Out," won the 1996 Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance. He currently lives in West New York -- deceptively located in New Jersey -- with his partner, Brady Allen.