Author ~ Christine D’Abo
Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing
Published ~ 8th May 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
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.
Max Tremblay, is the owner of a gay bar and a gym. Grady Barnes needs a friend and preferably fiancée. Yeaaahhh, somethings gonna go wrong somewhere – right?
The first interactions between Max and Grady are those involving Max dealing with a drunk Grady and all the amusing grossness associated with it. Followed by attempted bribery from an employee of Grady’s household. You see, Grady hails from a wealthy controlling family, though his brother isn’t blinkered and is supportive of him. Grady’s dad supports his homosexuality, especially when it can bring in business. The man approves even more when for the sake of a business deal, his plan is to force Grady into an arranged marriage.
Sounds mixed up? It sure is.
Sounds entertaining? Yup.
Told in the third person from Max and Grady’s POV’s, Faking It is a twist on that iconic movie by Julia Roberts - Pretty Woman. Only, as good as the film is – I prefer Max (who isn’t part of the ancient profession). I compare the two because they come from different walks of life. Grady needs a companion and Max fits the bill – all he has to do is persuade him. The proposal comes at an opportune moment for Max. Though, despite the timing, Max has morals, so doesn’t know what prompted him to go with Grady’s idea. Maybe it was the protector in him that saw the injustice in what Grady’s father was doing.
There is much to like about this story, including a classic cast of good and bad guys. There’s a tough honesty about Max that I adore, and he’s not sickly sweet either. As for Grady – one of his pleasures is pissing off his controlling father. To that end, the dialogue throughout is well written and drew many a smile from me. Ohh, and there’s some steam in them-there pages, too, along with some heart pumping moments.
Like everyone, what I like someone else may not and vice versa. For me, some features of the story were perfectly paced, but occasionally, towards the end, some secondary parts of the plot were concluded a little too abruptly, and it brought me up short. I understand the focus needs to be on the main plot, but, I felt a couple of aspects were glanced over to give closure and move back to the main arc.
Faking It is an emotional journey of self-discovery, deciding what one wants out of life and taking responsibility for it. Max and Grady shake each other up enough for them to take a close look at every facet of what they have. Truths are told, decisions made and the consequences unravel.
Working It (Ringside Romance #1)
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.
Meet 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.