Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Losing It by Christine d'Abo

Finn Miller doesn’t do social. He works his IT job from home as often as he can to avoid people. If it weren’t for his weekly training sessions at Ringside Gym, he might never leave his apartment. And he only does that because of Leo, the gym member he’s in love with. When Finn gets talked into attending a speed dating fund-raiser at the gym, his greatest wish is to have the courage to try to say something—anything—to Leo.

Justin McCormick has spent most of his adult life being used, whether playing a corporate heavy, or acting as guard dog for his ward. So when he leaves Vancouver for a fresh start in Toronto, he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself.

The moment Justin sees Finn at a speed dating event, he knows there’s no way he’ll make it without a little help, so he offers to coach Finn on the art of conversation. What he doesn’t count on is his unexpected attraction to this shy boxer, or his fear that if Finn gets his way, Justin might lose out on his best chance at love.

The Ringside Romance stories can be enjoyed in any order -- jump in wherever you'd like.

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Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Riptide Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the fourth book in the series. The first three deal with three childhood friends who are rebuilding Ringside Gym, and their grown-up romances. Here we see Justin, who was Grady's minder in Faking It, as he comes to terms with life now that he has reformed. He comes to Toronto to start again and ends up getting help from Grady and his new friends.

Whilst it is difficult for the guys to know quite what to do about Justin, they give him a chance and he does not disappoint them. He even pitches in and helps with the speed dating event at the club to raise money for an LGBT class. There he gets to spend more time with Finn. Finn, who has his eye on someone else, but is always tongue-tied. Finn, who he finds very attractive, has an excellent rapport with, and who never finds it hard to speak with him. We obviously get the message straight away, but the naive Finn takes a little longer. It is highly enjoyable watching it unfold, and very satisfying by the end.

Justin was such an interesting character, that I commented in my review of Faking It that he deserved his story to be told – so I was really delighted to get this book, and even more so with how things turned out for him! Thank you for that, Ms. d'Abo.

I’ve only read one other book in this series and I loved it, so I thought I’d give book four a chance; I have to say that unfortunately, I didn’t love it. I felt like both of the characters were almost… whiny or unmanly, it kept me from loving the book.

Finn is extremely anti-social to the point it’s almost crippling – he’s also sporting a major crush on a fellow gym rat but can’t build up the confidence to ask him out. Justin has come into town for a new beginning, leaving his old life behind to start a new life near a man whom he though he loved, Grady. While visiting Grady’s gym, Justin is offered a job that includes a place to live and he makes the gym his home. When he notices Finn struggling to talk to the man who he’s obviously crushing on, Justin steps in to help Finn with his confidence levels.

I honestly didn’t find either Finn or Justin all that likeable and I think that’s the main reason I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I’d hoped. Though their story was cute, my favorite part of the book was the glimpses of the previous characters – plus it’s pretty steamy and that kept me reading. I probably won’t be continuing on with this series.

3.5 stars

This is another fun romance between the men at the Ringside Gym. Justin and Finn are loosely connected to the group of friends who run the gym, but they are perfect for each other – even if it takes Finn a very long time to believe it.

Justin was absolutely villainous in Grady’s book but a few months later he’s back and a very reformed character. I wasn’t ever able to fully believe in his transformation, but I really enjoyed him in this book. He arrives in Toronto lonely, jobless, and pretty defeated. His baggage with Grady makes for an awkward reunion. The new Justin is vulnerable and immensely loveable.

Finn is an interesting love interest for Justin. Where Justin is smooth and sophisticated on the surface, Finn is a hot mess of social anxiety. But Finn has an inner resilience. He’s actually more confident in himself and more comfortable in his skin than Justin is. Justin starts out assisting Finn, but Finn’s steady confidence stabilizes Justin.

This story is formulaic – the plot is originally Shakespeare’s (probably more recently borrowed from the film Roxanne), but it is good fun. Justin helps shy Finn win over Leo, a beautiful asshole, while falling in love with Finn himself. It is an entertaining but predictable read. The guys at the gym are fun and always entertaining and there is good heat between Justin and Finn.

I said this with book three but I need to say it again, I seriously had déjà vu when I read this book. I felt like I had read this story before. Maybe it was previously published or just so similar to something I have read before. This book is about Finn and Justin. Finn is super shy but has a major crush on this guy, Leo, at the gym. When the gym owners have a speed dating night, Finn fails miserably and Justin offers to help Finn. This starts a friendship that blossoms into more. While the story was good and I liked the characters, I just couldn't love it. I wanted too, especially when Finn gets himself into a pickle at the end, but I couldn't. I am sure it was just me not being able to get over the fact that it seemed like I had read the book before.

Also Available in the Ringside Romance Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Riptide Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our Working It post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Riptide Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our Faking It post.

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Riptide Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our Making It post.

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.

Connect with Christine

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Losing It (Ringside Romance #4) by Christine d'Abo to read and review.

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