Hello, my name is Christine d’Abo and I’m so happy to be here today.
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.
You can visit Christine at her website www.christinedabo.com, and chat with her on Facebook and Twitter. Want to keep up with Christine’s new releases? Sign up for her newsletter and receive a free book!
About Faking It
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.
Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/faking-it
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.
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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!
Friday Night . . . before everything changed
Max Tremblay stood in the alley behind his bar, a bag of garbage in one hand and a puking patron in front of him, and wondered if this was really what he wanted from his career. Because the combined smells of those particular things was something he’d never needed to experience, and yet they’d somehow become a regular weekly occurrence.
Oh yes, the glamourous life of a bar owner.
This was the perfect end to a craptastic day. First, the order of limes hadn’t made it, and he’d had to run over to the grocery store and clean them out, which left more than a few people there pissed off. He’d had an almost fight with his dad on the phone, partially because the stubborn ass wouldn’t admit that he wasn’t feeling well again, but mostly because they couldn’t have a conversation without it devolving into a pissing match. Then Moe had called in sick at the last possible minute, which meant he’d had to take over behind the bar. That had led to some impressive cuts on his right hand—so much for his calluses—from the never-ending removal of bottle caps. Not to mention the three fights that had sent Teddy running and required Max to act as backup bouncer.
And now . . . a vomiting customer.
At least he’d come outside. Cleaning up the bathroom would have made things so much worse.
“Hey, buddy.” He stepped farther into the alley, tossing the garbage into the covered bin before carefully approaching the man. The last thing he wanted was to get punched by a confused drunk. Or get vomit on his shoes. He didn’t have to live through either of those experiences more than once to learn his lesson. “Are you with someone? Do you need me to get you some help?”
I could have opened a clothing store, or been smart and put my money into the gym with Zack like he wanted. But oh no, I wanted to own a gay bar. I wanted to live the high life and be in charge of party central.
He’d spent four years getting his business degree and another five setting up Frantic to be a successful club, but nothing had prepared him for the sort of customer service necessary when dealing with too much alcohol and not enough inhibitions.
Another heave and Max cringed. Dude probably had some friends inside, wondering what happened to him. “I’ll let the bouncer know you’re out here. Don’t want anyone worried about you.”
He turned to go back through the service entrance; one sharp yank and Max realized the security lock that Cameron had sworn up and down was totally and completely fixed this time, boss, wasn’t. Max let gravity take hold of his head, his chin dropping to his chest and the muscles in the back of his neck stretching out. They’d all been run off their feet tonight, and Frantic would be open for another two hours. After that, it would be at least another hour before he’d be able to head home to take a much-needed shower before falling into bed.
First, he’d need to dodge the drunk and go around to the front in order to head back inside. Max turned as the man pushed away from the wall. One look at the man’s blood-shot eyes and too-white skin and Max knew there was no way the drunk would be able to make it back into the bar. No matter how tired Max might be, he couldn’t in good conscience
leave someone this bad off on their own. No telling what might happen to him.
I could have owned a bakery, or become a personal trainer . . .
Max stepped cautiously up to the man, and when he was certain that he wouldn’t get a fist to the face for his troubles, he slid his arm around the man’s back. “What’s your name, buddy?”
Max shook his head. “What?”
The guy cleared his throat. “Grady.”
“Okay, Grady, let’s get your drunk ass into a cab and get you home.”
Grady groaned. “Nooo.”
“Yes. You’re not going back into my bar like this.” Thankfully, Max had more than enough experience moving drunks where he wanted them to go. “Come on.”
With effort, Max encouraged Grady to stumble his way down the short alley to the street, close to the smokers who’d gathered the requisite distance from the main door to partake in their poison. “Hey. One of you guys go grab Teddy for me.”
A young woman peeled from the group and jogged toward Frantic’s front door.
Grady let his head rest against Max’s shoulder, his breathing coming out in shallow pants. “Don’t wanna.”
Despite the taint of alcohol, there was something about the way Grady spoke that set off alarm bells in Max’s brain. He had a familiar look about him, like an itch in the back of Max’s brain that he couldn’t quite scratch. He’d probably seen the guy around the bar a few times, nothing more. “I know. But you’re going to.” Hurry up, Teddy.
Shit. The last thing he wanted to do was send someone to a place where they weren’t welcome. Not everyone who visited his bar was out, or had a family who supported them the way they should. Not that a drunk guy arriving home in a cab would necessarily cause any problems, but he wasn’t willing to risk it.
“Where do you want to go, then?” Relief washed through Max at the sight of Teddy striding toward him. “Thank God. Here comes the cavalry. Hurry up, he’s heavy.”
“Only you find the pukers.” Teddy took over holding Grady up. “Cab’s been called.”
“Thanks.” Max wasn’t about to leave Teddy out here alone. There was no telling what could happen past midnight once the drunks started to wander around Toronto’s entertainment district. Turning his attention back to Grady, Max snapped his fingers in the man’s face to refocus his attention. “Hey, if you don’t want to go home, you need to tell me where else to send you.”
Grady frowned. “How did you get over there?”
Oh dear. “Magic.” He waved his hands for added effect.
The sloppy grin that slipped across Grady’s somehow familiar face was adorable. “I like magic.”
Max ignored Teddy’s snort. “I can do another trick if you want. You tell me where you want to go, and I’ll send you there.”
Grady’s eyes widened. A man that drunk shouldn’t look that cute. “Tahiti.”