Thursday, February 9, 2017

Virtual Tour ~ Working It by Christine d’Abo ~ (Reviews + Giveaway)

Virtual Tour ~ Working It by Christine d’Abo ~ (Review + Giveaway)

Thank you for having me here today. I’m so happy to be able to talk to you about my new book, WORKING IT, which is book one in my new Ringside Romance series. Don’t let the series title fool you, this is low on the boxing and high on sexual tension.
As an avid reader of all things romance, I personally love it when authors take chances and play around with what we consider typical romance tropes. Those situations that for whatever reason, really work for us as lovers of romance. One of my personal favorite tropes is the whole boss-assistant dynamic. There’s something wonderful about the tension that can be created when two people are working together, under pressure and in close quarters, that appeals to me.
I wanted to take this trope and do something a little fun with it. What would happen if both the characters were gay? What if they were so vastly different that under any other circumstance they probably never meet, let alone fall in love? What if they worked day in and day out in an office together?
In WORKING IT, Nolan Carmichael is working through the trauma of a serious car accident. He gets a job as Zack Anderson’s executive assistant, a position that no one at the company wants. Somehow the two of them work through their differences and fall in love.
I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

You can visit Christine at her website, and chat with her on Facebook and Twitter. Want to keep up with Christine’s new releases? Sign up for her newsletter and receive a free book!

About Working It

Nolan Carmichael is getting a fresh start—new career, new company, new life. The only problem is, he liked his old life just fine . . . until an accident robbed him of his health, his job, his self-confidence, and his ability to go out in public without having anxiety attacks.

Zack Anderson has scared away his last four executive assistants. So when he hires Nolan on a whim, he’s not too worried, since Nolan will be gone within the week anyway. Two weeks later, Nolan has made himself indispensable, completely reforming Zack’s schedule, life . . . and libido.

But in a company already torn by internal politics, one wrong step could ruin both their careers. And not only are they working to reopen Ringside Gym, Zack’s retreat when he was a troubled teen, but they also can’t help themselves falling for each other. If only the rest of their lives could go as smoothly as things do when they’re alone together.

Now available from Riptide Publishing.


There was something about Zack, the way he held himself, that told Nolan more was wrong. If they’d had this conversation this morning—before Nancy and her cupcake, before being yelled at, before being kissed—then he might have been more inclined to reach out, to ask what was the matter. But so much had transpired in such a short time, Nolan knew he needed to hold back. To pace himself and not get into a situation he couldn’t handle.
“I need you. I need you in the office.” Zack came closer but stopped before they were in kissing range. He cleared his throat; his gaze sliding from Nolan’s to roam his face, looking for who knew what. “Will you come back to work tomorrow? Will you help me?”
“Yes.” Nolan was surprised his voice didn’t crack from the weight of sudden emotion he was forced to suppress.
“Will you forgive me for earlier? For yelling?”
Zack stepped near, so tantalizingly close Nolan could have swayed and been once more chest to chest with him. “Will you come out to supper with me?”
Nolan blinked. “What?”
“While this smells amazing, I promise you I can do better.” A smile tugged at Zack’s lips. “I know it’s only five, but we can get an early meal. Then, if I haven’t scared you off, I’d like to show you something.”
Shit. This was too much for him. The wave of emotions was more than he could take. When he had to simply think of Zack as his hardheaded boss, it was easier to deal with the man. But this? It didn’t compute. “My sister will be home soon.” A lie, but one he needed to preserve his sanity.
“Another time, then. I don’t think she’ll want to see the man who upset her brother.”
Tina would probably tackle-hug Zack if she suspected he was starting to get to Nolan in a way no other man had before. “Good idea.”
Neither of them moved. Nolan’s gaze dipped to Zack’s mouth, and the memories of their brief kiss came racing back. He’d still been so overwhelmed from the anxiety that he hadn’t fully appreciated the gravity of what they’d shared. He’d kissed the dragon and he’d survived.
Not only that, he’d enjoyed it.
“I should go.” Zack’s voice barely reached above a whisper.
“You don’t have to.” Nolan felt the blush cover his cheeks. “I think supper might be good.”
Zack’s eyes flashed. “Your sister? Won’t she expect you to be here?”
“Currently she’s pissed at me. I was exaggerating a bit before. I don’t expect to see her for hours.”
Zack nodded. “Do you mind driving, or would you rather take transit?”
“I don’t own a car.”
“Taxi it is.” Zack shoved his hand into his pockets. “Let’s go, then.”

5 Stars!!!

Nolan is ready—or about as ready as he’s going to be—to tackle working again. After a very bad accident that left him with physical sequels and anxiety attacks that forced him to leave his previous job, he is determined to get back into the saddle, even if he has to take a position for which he is overqualified. His interview is hijacked by the company’s CTO, Zack Anderson, and soon he finds himself as Zack’s new executive assistant and slowly regaining some of his confidence back as Nolan becomes indispensable due to his organizational skills, even if his new boss has a well-earned reputation for being difficult, to the point that none of his assistants have lasted longer than 3 weeks. Soon, Nolan and Zack forge a tentative friendship as Nolan volunteers to help Zack with his side project of re-opening the Ringside Gym and the longer they spend together, the more difficult it is to resist the attraction growing between them.

My heart broke for Nolan I don’t know how many times with what he went through after the accident and his anxiety attacks. He was so strong, determined and really showed a lot of growth throughout the book. It was amazing to see how he regained some of his confidence as he learned to deal with Zack and did so well at his new job. I liked Zack, he had a lot of anger management issues and he wasn’t all that nice at first, but he actually made a conscious effort to treat Nolan better than he’d treated his past assistants. I also liked to see how Nolan’s presence in his life, affected him for the good, making him laugh and open himself to others, who viewed him as a dragon. The sexual tension between the two was electric and the sex—when they finally couldn’t resist any longer and to be honest, neither could I—was very hot. Zack and Nolan worked well together, both in the office and as friends and later, as lovers and I loved the pacing as their relationship morphed into more.

This book was very enjoyable, well-written, perfectly paced, with an amazing array of characters and while I wasn’t too fond of the office politics arc in the second part of the book, I feel that it served its purpose and it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the story, which I couldn’t put down until I finished it.

Working It is the first book in the Ringside Romance series and while it didn’t focus all that much on the Ringside Gym part of the story, it was a great foundation to what I’m sure will be a fantastic series.

Highly recommendable!!!

*** Copy provided to the reviewer via NetGalley and Riptide Publishing for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***

4.5 Stars!!!

Great tale, great writing, and an ogre of a character to who morphed into someone better, but still realistic. It just ended a little too quickly and open-endedly. A new trend in MM?

This is one of the most believable tales I've read in which an ogre-type of character meets his match, admits his issues and ends up respecting the person who taught him how to be better, how to stand up for the right things and made him want to be a better person. I liked that the tale didn't even have the faintest hint of cliché and that the leads came together so believably.

Nolan was such a great character - he'd overcome physical injuries and PTSD and was trying to rebuild his life and not rely on his big sister for support. He had strength of character, incredible energy and was a really decent person, and at the same time, the author 'drew' him realistically in making him break down under certain pressures. At times, I did hate Zach for being one of those pressures, but respected the author for not suddenly doing an about-face and making him a changed man.

I loved how they worked together, how their attraction grew, how they then had to un-link themselves from what they were building, but that they were both grown-up enough and mature enough to calm down, think things out realistically and see the bigger picture and both decide to be pragmatic and work towards a very worthy common goal.

The sex in this was the perfect combo of sweet-sexy-forbidden and I loved that it was what they both needed and that sex actually showed the gentler, more caring side of the hard-butt (the a-word would likely get this review pulled!) of Zach and that is when Nolan realised that there was a very decent person under the hard shell the world got presented with.

The tale ended at the start of what I hope and think is a HEA for the leads, and this is where it loses marks for me. I'm unsure if there's a new trend emerging in MM romance where leads are given a sort-of ending, where readers can choose to make it a HFN or a HEA, depending on their personal likes/preferences. To me, this was the only fail in this tale, because after what Nolan went through and overcame, he needed a guy who'd be there for him permanently and he needed that unquestioning, unending emotional support. I hope that he'll be getting the latter from Zach, but the tale ended without discussion and without things being cemented. Of course, that's my personal issues on it, but the tale is incredibly worth the read.

ARC courtesy of Riptide Publishing for my reading pleasure.

About Christine d’Abo

A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs.

Connect with Christine:


To celebrate the release of Working It, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 11, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


  1. This sounds like a really good book. Going to add to my TBR list.

  2. Can't still recover from the swoon I had the first time I've read this one. So.Hot! Zack, you are such a sexy god! Damn! I know I've told that to you before but I can't help myself. I'll say it over & over again till my lungs give out. (Was that song lyrics? *winks*)

    Thanks for coming by to Bayou Book Junkie, Christine!


  3. Congratulations on the release of Working It, Christine. The book sounds really good. All your books are. So no surprise there.
    tankie44 at gmail dot com

  4. Thanks for the review!


  5. Thanks for the two great reviews! I'll be adding this one to my TBR list.


  6. congrats and great reviews
    jmarinich33 at aol dot com

  7. Thank you for the reviews! It's already on my wishlist.
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  8. Thanks for the review!

  9. Congrats on the release. Thanks for the excerpt & review!

  10. I enjoyed the excerpt and both reviews. All of it makes me want to read the book even more. Thank you. ree.dee.2014 (at) gmail (dot) com