I’m a firm believer that the good friends are the family members that we get to choose. The get us on a level that sometimes our biological family doesn’t. When I came up with the idea of Ringside Gym and the men who were involved with it, I wanted to make sure that their relationships reflected that feeling.
Max would be the “middle” child of the trio of heroes. He’s my peacemaker, the one who wants to make sure everyone and everything is okay. But Max has a problem – he doesn’t know what to do when he’s not needed. Zack no longer needs him now that he has Noland in his life, and their other friend Eli has been MIA due to his MMA career. Max’s life begins to drift and he questions not only what he wants, but also who he wants in it.
When Grady Barnes shows up on the scene, Max is equal parts intrigued and annoyed. Here is a man who seems to have it all, but is seemingly at the whim of his father. When Grady asks Max for help, he takes a leap of faith and agrees. What Max doesn’t anticipate is how quickly Grady will work his way into his heart.
All Max needs to do is find a way to prevent Grady from being forced into a marriage he doesn’t want, while not giving in to his impulse to sweep Grady into his arm.
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Max Tremblay should be happy. His nightclub, Frantic, is one of the most popular gay clubs in Toronto, and his childhood refuge, Ringside Gym, is well on the way to reopening. But when he finds yet another drunk in the alley beside the bar, Max isn’t sure this is the life he truly wants.
Grady Barnes has it all. He’s rich, famous, and wants for nothing. Well, nothing but a good relationship with his father. When he discovers that his father is going to force him into an arranged marriage, Grady has had enough. He tracks down Max, the man who got him to safety after a night of overindulgence, and makes him a proposal: pretend to be his fiancé for two weeks and he’ll invest in Ringside Gym.
When the pair travel to Vancouver to attend a family wedding, the flames of their mutual attraction ignite, and they discover that the only difference between pretend and reality is how well they can fake it.
I absolutely adored Working It and I loved Nolan and Zack, so I couldn't wait to dig into Faking It. The beginning was amazing and I loved both Max and Grady together on first sight. Drunk Grady was funny, sweet and adorable, although a puking Grady is kind of gross. Then the next day he comes back to Frantic to thank and apologize to Max. He smiles, it rubbed me the wrong way and it all went down hill from there. I can't stand poor little rich boys. Is daddy trying to control your life? Well, if you are 28 and living off of daddy's money with no aspirations to make anything of yourself, I can't feel all that sorry for you. I loved Max, but I wasn't sure what he saw in Grady. Grady gave him nothing to work with, in my opinion.
The story is well-written and the characters had a wonderful chemistry. The sexual tension sparked between them and when they fell into bed the spark caught fire, but by the time the book was over and Grady came around and decided it was time to grow up and stand on his own two feet, well, frankly, I found myself not really caring anymore. It was all a little too late for me.
I did love the glimpses of Nolan and Zack and I'm really hoping the series isn't over. I found a couple of secondary characters that I'd really love to see get a story. All in all, this was a good book, I just wish Grady had been a bit different or come around sooner, but hey, you can't love them all. Still, and enjoyable and recommended read!
*Copy provided to me via NetGalley for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement.*
While I loved Working It (the first book in the series) and I loved catching up with Zack and Nolan in this book, unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Faking It.
I loved Max, I thought he was an amazing character, strong and reliable. He wanted to find that special someone, thinking Grady might be it for him. I didn’t quite like Grady, though. I found him to be an adorable drunk at first, but when he came up with the whole fake relationship idea and started to show who he really was, that changed. I couldn’t relate with him at all and even when he showed some signs of growing up near the end of the book, I was way past caring about him by then. He was a poor little rich boy who liked rebelling against his father, but still lived off his money. He didn’t work, didn’t do anything worthwhile, yet, Max defended him against both Justin and Grady’s father? I’m sorry, but that didn’t quite work out for me. Despite the fact that Max and Grady were obviously attracted physically to each other and that they were great and very hot in bed, I couldn’t see the appeal for Grady. *shrugs*
The book was well-written, it had some very hot sex scenes and it was entertaining, and hey, you might like Grady much more than I did, so check the book out and form your own opinion.
I’m definitely looking forward to more books in the series, because even if this one didn’t work for me, it doesn’t mean I don’t love Christine D’Abo’s writing and can’t wait to find out what else she has in store for us in the future.
*** Copy provided to me by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
About the Ringside Romance Universe
Deep in the heart of Toronto lies Ringside Gym. Once a safe haven for troubled teens, Ringside has gone derelict, a forgotten memory of past days. Until a group of friends set out to do what they can to bring life back to the ring and create a new home for LGBT youths.
But when their lives threaten to pull down their dreams, each man must turn to others to help make it a reality. Winners take all—but there are no losers in love.
Check out Ringside Romance. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/ringside-romance
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:
- Website: christinedabo.com
- Facebook: facebook.com/AuthorChristinedAbo
- Twitter: @Christine_dAbo
- Tumblr: christinedabo.tumblr.com
- Pintrest: pintrest.com/christinedabo
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/christine_d_abo
To celebrate the release of Faking It, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 13, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!