Loved this. Pros
The book is VERY funny. For example:
"'We're just discussing it now. Mr. Potters' Lullaby [the new television show the actor stars in]—'
'About that name…' Nana shuddered and said in all innocence, ‘…I hate to be a prude, but it does sound unseemly.'
I nodded. ‘Yeah, Like story hour for pedophiles.'"
Plot, pacing, verbiage, etc. All the standard elements are there and well done. The characterization was very well done. I could picture each person and they were all different. I fell in love with these characters.
The grandma; in fact, Caesar's whole family. They may be somewhat of a stereotype but anyone who's seen Cake Boss know that it's a realistic stereotype. I particularly love how the dad pretends he has a thick Italian accent:
"He kissed my cheek and I let him. ‘You cumma back to the kitchen and pack uppa some nice cannoli for later.'
His accent was ridiculous. I let it slide, but hear this now; the man is third-generation American."
Caesar's ridiculous sweet tooth.
Mystery was so good I didn't even notice that no romance happened for a long time. The first hint of something sexual between them was almost halfway through. The mystery was good and it took me a long time to figure it out.
Somebody asks why the parking brake isn't being used in an automatic car. I get grief for this all the time, people teasing me about using the parking brake. I just tell them it's because I drove a stickshift most of my life and have only had an automatic for a couple of years. But the reality is that sometimes a car can pop out of gear. I live in Seattle, hilly as San Francisco. So I am happy that in the book, something happens because someone didn't set the parking brake.
"I don't act gay, Shep. I am gay. It's a beautiful thing to live your life in the open."
Caesar is deeply horrified and afraid of clowns, as he should be. I knew a gay guy who collected clowns and he freaked me out, too.
When a guy has a second orgasm, it's smaller and weaker. That's how they go, not even better and more intense like in most books.
Caesar's obsessive fear of germs. It's not like stereotypical OCD, it's just sometimes and it's really funny.
Sex scenes are very hot.
There's a steamy
sex scene under a bed. Cons
There's a steamy sex scene under
a bed. These are grown men. How??
A guy keeps his porn toys in the bathroom. That is probably the least safe place to hide stuff. It's the only place people have the time and privacy to snoop. Plus, it's pretty inconvient.
"I unlocked the locks." ‘nuff said.
The main character's name is Caesar Romano. Seriously. And his family owns a famous restaurant.
Large age difference as usual (twelve years). You know, there are lots of gay couples who are the same age. Most of the gay relationships I have known throughout my life, and that's a lot since I used to be co-chair of the GLTB organization on my campus, were between guys close in age.
People in Wheaties ads are celebrities.
Men serving food topless is compared to Hooters as far as being a health code violation. Um, no, the women are wearing shirts. Men cannot go shirtless because of the possibly loss of hair and sweat into the food. "No shirt, no shoes, no service."
They eat veal with no compunction. Yes, please let me have some more anemic baby cow, the higher-priced and therefore more iron deficient the better.
Someone lives in a brick Cape Cod house. Cape Cods are supposed to be wood.
The perpetrator was REALLY dumb and it took too long to bite her in the ass. COMPLETE AND TOTAL SPOILER: She tells people her secret about how used to be a man in order for people to think she was being blackmailed, too. She should have used something that wouldn't have given her away. She also asks for exactly the amount of money she needs which is how they trace her. What imbecile wouldn't round up at least?
Related to this, (another big spoiler) she asks for the money for a procedure after
she's had it. I'm pretty sure you have to pay up front for elective surgery.
The big finale was dull and quick. I want more violence and danger.
We don't find out much about Dan's scars. I want to know!
I was confused about what floor was which in the gallery house and I know there were a couple of times that were contradictory.
I didn't quite buy it when Caesar finally admits to himself he has it bad for Dan.
Homeless men are called "bums."
The characters say track lighting is a gay thing. I say it's a tacky eighties thing.
Small inconsistencies/inaccuracies like someone doesn't put sugar in his store-bought coffee he brought with him so it's assumed the coffee is black. He might have put sugar in at the shop so he could drink it on the way back. Or like they see a sign that the show is coming soon and someone's already seen it.
Caesar is 28 so presumably is six years out of college but he still can't handle seeing the man he dated back then.
A person who has never been on a motorcycle before is put on a bike behind the other guy. He puts his hands on the guy's shoulders. I see this all the time in books and it drives me crazy. If someone hasn't ridden a motorcycle before, they're going to lean out of a turn rather than in because it's instinctual. This is really dangerous and makes it difficult to drive. Only a big homophobe would not make the first man put his arms around the driver's waist. Since the two are gay and they've done the nasty, the driver should have/would have insisted the other hold him tightly.
Someone normal, a model, no less, says "genuflecting" in an ordinary conversation with a coworker while tending bar. Really?
Despite the cons and all the nitpicky details, this was a four to five star read for me. It's hard to decide because it was damn funny. But I'm going to leave it at four, though, because of the disappointing and weak ending.