September 23, 2002 12:00 PM

By Jennifer Crusie

Art, orgasms, identities, affection. If it can be faked, the characters in Crusie’s snappy new novel will do it. Davy Dempsey is a con man trying (not quite hard enough) to avoid following in his shiftless father’s footsteps. Tilda Goodnight is a brilliant painter whose dad turned her into an unwilling forger. Obviously Davy and Tilda will wind up together, but first they must deal with such wacky extras as a straitlaced single mom who spends several nights a week performing as a sex goddess at her gay ex-husband’s nightclub. Crusie has a gift for concocting nutty scenarios and witty one-liners, though the gags lose their fizz as the book goes on. (St. Martin’s, $24.95)

Bottom Line: A few genuine laughs

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