Working It by Christine D’Abo
Series: Ringside Romance #1
Published: February 6, 2017 by Riptide Publishing
Genre: LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
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.
I had really high hopes for Working It and I did end up enjoying the read, especially Nolan’s character, but considering the trauma the characters have gone through I felt like I was experiencing this story through a lens that kept me separate from the emotion. While I didn’t connect with the story I did feel that Christine D’Abo wrote a wonderful portrayal of anxiety and how it can affect every part of your life. Nolan was once a confident, dedicated corporate trainer but with one snowy road that all changed. Going through ups and downs, Nolan grows a lot through this story and he was my favorite part. Nolan is so incredibly strong to work through his anxiety and not let the complete collapse of his life keep him down.
“Nolan might not be Zack’s usual type, but he could smile and laugh and find the humor in just about any situation.”
While I loved Nolan and his story I struggled to really like Zack as a character. Zack’s presented as an obsessive executive, demanding, brash, and angry but with Nolan he learns to find his passion in life again. While we the reader see a new side to Zack, every other character (except his friend Max) hates him or talks about how unlikable he is. This made it hard for me to fully believe in who he was with Nolan. Granted he’s not perfect with Nolan either and he has anger management issues that he’s worked through since he was a teenager. I liked that Zack was real and genuine and he had huge flaws; I can appreciate that characterization but it’s part of why I could never really connect with him as a person.
The balance that Zack and Nolan bring to each other was nice but I was so-so on their chemistry. Overall, it was an easy read but I doubt it will make a lasting impression on me. That being said, I do plan to read the next one, because I loved Max for always calling Zack on his bullshit.
**Reader Safety: Hero was in a car accident that left him scarred and suffering from panic attacks and anxiety (relived through flashbacks, panic attacks on page)
3 stars – it was good
Ringside Romance reviews
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