Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Faking It
Author: Christine D’Abo
Series: Ringside Romance #2
Heroes: Max Tremblay/Grady Barnes
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 238 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: May 8, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Max Tremblay should be happy. His night club, 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.
Review: Max is the sexy nightclub owner and silent partner in Ringside Gym, which his friends are in the process of opening. We met him in the previous book, and I was more than ready to see his story play out. He is in a bit of a rut when this story begins, feeling like he needs some kind of change in his life but not sure exactly what. That change comes in the way of Grady, a man Max finds puking behind his bar one night and whom Max ends up taking care of and seeing him safely back to his hotel.
All is not what it seems with Grady, as we learn he is trying to hide a bit from his overbearing and manipulative rich family. When the latest plan of his father’s is to marry Grady off to seal a business deal, announcing said engagement at Grady’s brother’s upcoming wedding, Grady hatches a plan to bring home a fiance of his own. After some convincing, Max agrees to help him out.
Grady’s family, with the exception of his brother and future sister-in-law, are pretty awful. His father is cold and seemingly uncaring and has been that way ever since Grady’s mother died of an overdose when he was young. They have pretty much butted heads from then on, and it only gets worse in this story.
While the charade is going on, Max and Grady realize their explosive chemistry and decide to act on it during the few weeks Max is playing the part. As expected, their feelings grow, but they are worlds apart and find it hard to believe they could ever be together, or at least Max does. When threats are made to Max’ business and his friends and family unless he breaks things off with Grady in a humiliating and crushing public showdown, things take a turn. But not in the way you’d expect.
I have really enjoyed this series. What first appears as a typical trope turns out to be anything but and much more enjoyable than expected. Ms. D’Abo has an easy going style and creates characters who are easy to care about and root for. This story is no exception, and I was rooting for them from the get go. As with the first book, I finished this one excited to read the next, which looks like it will be even more explosive than the first two. I can’t wait to see where this story goes next and how everything turns out with the grand opening of Ringside Gym!
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*