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Faking It

Faking It by Jennifer Crusie 

Faking It (Dempseys #2)Description: LOVE AND DECEPTION HAVE A LOT IN COMMON.
Meet the Goodnights, a respectable family who run a respectable art gallery-and have for generations. There’s Gwen, the matriarch who likes to escape reality, Eve the oldest daughter who has a slight identity problem (she has two), Nadine, the granddaughter who’s ready to follow in the family footsteps as soon as she can find a set that isn’t leading off a cliff. And lastly, Matilda, the youngest daughter, has inherited the secret locked down in the basement of the Goodnight Gallery, the secret she’s willing to do almost anything to keep, even break into a house in the dead of night to steal back her past.
Meet the Dempseys, or at least meet Davy, a reformed con man who’s just been ripped off for a cool three million by his financial manager, who then gallantly turned it over to Clea Lewis, the most beautiful sociopath Davy ever slept with. Davy wants the money back, but more than that he’ll do anything to keep Clea from winning, including break into her house in the dead of night to steal back his future.
One collision in a closet later, Tilda and Davy reluctantly join forces to combat Clea, suspicious art collectors, a disgruntled heir, and an exasperated hitman, all the while coping with a mutant dachshund, a juke box stuck in the sixties, questionable sex, and the growing realization that they can’t turn their backs on the people they were meant to be…or the people they were born to love.

Review: In addition to the books I read, about one a day, I also tend to listen to audiobooks in my car. It fills the time and keeps a monotonous commute from becoming dull. I usually listen to romance novels, although I try to intersperse historical non-fiction books too, just to say I’m using my history degree I spent 4 years and two theses to earn. For romance novels, I seem to be on a Jennifer Crusie kick. I listened to Bet Me,The Cinderella Deal, and Charlie All Night in the last few months. I had just finished up an audiobook, historical non-fiction, and was wandering around my library, looking for a new one. The only Jennifer Crusie audiobook they had on the shelf was Faking It, so I thought, why not?

It took me a while to warm up to Davy and Tilda, the main characters. Part of that is because the problem with audiobooks is I only listen to the story in small parts so it doesn’t flow as well. The other issue is they are both morally ambiguous. Davy was a con man, trying to go straight. Tilda was less morally ambiguous. She was an art forger who was painting murals, which she hates, to support her family. The subplot includes a whole host of fascinating secondary characters from a gold-digger, a hitman, and Tilda’s slightly bipolar sister. While it took me a bit to get into the story, I found myself captivated and amused. I liked the partly romantic subplot of Davy’s best friend, Simon the art thief, and Tilda’s sister, Eve/ Louise. Tilda’s niece, Nadine, who had horrible taste in boyfriends and clearly should have been dating her best guy friend, was delightful.

It also took a while for me to like Tilda and Davy as a couple. They were great when they were making out in closets but their relationship needed a bit of a kick-start. One of my favorite things about their relationship was it featured bad sex! Not bad sex like a rapey bodice ripper, but actual, Tilda just wanted Davy to roll off of her and go to sleep sex. Basically, just lousy, realistic sex. That almost never happens in romance novels. There are usually orgasms galore, even for the heroine’s first time. It was more authentic that their relationship built from that crappy first time and that their sex life did continue to get better. In the end, I especially liked how they accepted each other, questionable pasts, crazy families, flaws and all.

All the discussion of thieves and art made me want to reread Suzanne Enoch’s  Samantha Jellicoe series. It was random but I also learned this week that there’s a museum in Vienna called Museum of Fake Art. I think I’ll listen to the first book in the series, Welcome to Temptation, next.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


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