Faking It by Christine D’Abo
LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
While Grady Barnes is excited to attend his brother’s wedding, he’s not looking forward to returning home to his domineering father, especially when he finds out his father hopes to marry him off as a part of a business deal. The best solution — bring home a fake fiancé. When bar owner Max Tremblay helped a drunk patron back to his hotel he never expected to see him again; so he’s even more shocked when Grady proposes his fake engagement idea. Grady has made a job out of pissing off his father but he never expected this new game to result in real feelings.
While I liked Faking It more than the previous in the series, I still struggled to connect with the characters and to find the underlying emotion in the story. Fake relationships are pretty much my favorite trope so I was really excited for this one. The tension that usually comes from pretending to be a couple was completely gone from this story and the first sex scene felt a bit abrupt. However, after a rocky start, I felt the rest of the book was good and I did like both Max and Grady as characters.
A bit selfish, stubborn, and outspoken, Grady is used to being looked down upon by his father and his family so he has no problem living up to that expectation. But he wants so much more for himself and Grady really grows throughout the book as he learns what it means to be an adult and put others before himself. I loved Max as a side character in Working It and he was my favorite part of this one. Max is easy going, steady, and dedicated, but with Grady in his life he begins to see the rut he has put himself in. I liked watching Max embrace a life outside of his bar as well as mending his relationship with his father.
My biggest issue with Faking It was that it felt a bit like a rehash of the first book. Both have power dynamic relationships, both have an angry and selfish hero, and both have a blackmailing scheme that breaks the couple up. Overall, these are unique stories but there were also just too many similarities for me to not mention it. Because of my lackluster responses to the first two books, I do not plan to continue with this series.
3 out of 5 stars
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.
Published by Riptide Publishing on May 6, 2017
Ringside Romance reviews
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