Catch Me If You Can by L.B. Gregg
March 2, 2010
Reviewed by Mandi
Why I read: L.B. Gregg is one of my favorite authors.
Favorite Quote: Listed in the review.
Caesar Romano is an assistant in an art gallery. He is broke and lives with his nana – this causes him some shame but he comes from a very close knit Italian family. The book opens during a show for the artist, Jean Pappineau. He creates busts of famous people out of odds and ends. As the drinks start flowing, the crowd becomes drunker and more rowdy. Caesar hopes this means more sales, but it also means more work for him. To complicate matters, his ex-boyfriend, Shep McNamara shows up and since their relationship didn’t end well, this causes Caesar much aggravation.
During the course of the night, a mysterious man walks in – it turns out to be Private Detective Dan Green, although Caesar is not aware of his name yet. Caesar becomes confused by the questions Detective Dan asks him and he is not sure if he is a suspect for something or being hit on. With all the chaos of the drunken crowd, Dan soon disappears and Caesar has much to keep him busy.
The next morning, the bust of Justin Timberlake is missing. Shep is found in a drunken stupor with the a watch from the missing bust around a certain appendage. Sheppard swears he has nothing to do with the disappearance, but he also admits to have no memory whatsoever from the night before. Desperate to find the bust before his boss and others find out, he also realizes he and his friends are being blackmailed. Detective Dan becomes an ally – and soon much more.
Catch Me If You Can is my favorite of LB Gregg’s, and that is saying something since I love ALL of her Men of Smithfield books. This is the start of a new series and while her Men of Smithfield series always had some mystery aspect to it, this book has the mystery take center stage. With missing art and lots of blackmail, I didn’t guess who the baddie was until he reveal at the end.
There are a lot of characters, but each one is so unique it is no problem keeping them all straight and they also make this book very funny. L.B. Gregg has such a witty voice and she definitely spreads the funny around. Peter, Caesar’s boss, has a secret room full of clowns – clowns he can’t help but steal and then do perverted things with. Brandon, the bartender, is addicted to chemical peels and his face often looks like a red sausage and makes people turn away in horror. Sheppard is a himbo, that will do anyone, anytime.
And finally Dan and Caesar. This book is told in the point of view of Caesar and with it, his Italian heritage really comes forth. People call him a spazz because of his constant hand movements when he talks and he is quick to act before he thinks. He is very confident on the outside, but on the inside, he is shy and uncertain.
Monday morning I crawled from my tiny bedroom and stumbled to Nana’s sunny kitchen, a little sore, a little bleary, a little hungry and feeling pretty damn good. Adam Lambert couldn’t have sung it better. It was a new day.
Clearly, I needed to have sex more than twice a year.
I think Dan really takes him by surprise. Dan is gruff and dominant, and the first time they tangle together, Caesar is shocked by Dan’s forthright demeanor and dirty talk. On the other hand, Caesar totally amuses Dan.
“He turned me around, saying “God. You are such a feisty motherfucker. I had no idea.”
For as serious as Dan tries to come across at the beginning – the big strong private investigator, he definitely has his goofy moments and he is the one that pushes the relationship, having no trouble being openly gay. He winks at Caesar and calls him babe for everyone to hear. It flabbergasts Dan, but he secretly likes it.
I secretly watched Dan, who pulled a red ball from the tackle box and stuck it on his nose. He turned and grinned goofily at me. I covered the phone. “Could you please? I’m trying to focus.”
Bastard winked at me.
This book does have a little bit of a slow start – I found myself wondering when Dan and Caesar would start progressing toward something. But once they did it led to hot smex, as only L.B. Gregg can write. As I said, Dan is dominant and a very dirty talker. Caesar likes it, even if he turns bright red trying to return the talk. They do the naughty under a bed, in a closet – the thrill of being caught turning on Dan and horrifying Caesar (at least that is what he says.)
Catch Me If You Can had my laughing, lusting and guessing until the end.