Author: Christine D’Abo
Book: Making It
Series: Ringside Romance, Book #3
Page/Word Count: 213 pages
Categories: Gay Romance, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 5, 2017
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Devan knows exactly what he wants from life: a good career, a husband who loves him, and a child to call his own. He’s working at the perfect job, and has found the man of his dreams in Eli. That only leaves one box left to tick. When his friend offers to be a surrogate mother for Devan and Eli, he’s convinced all his dreams have come true.
Eli has been fighting his entire life. Fighting to keep his sick mother safe, fighting his frustration, and fighting daily as an up-and-coming MMA star. The one thing he can’t fight is the feeling that he’s made a terrible mistake agreeing to be a father with Devan. On the worst night of their lives, Eli knows Devan is better off without him, and leaves.
When Eli returns three years later, he comes face-to-face with Devan and a son who might be his. Devan has moved on with his life, but seeing Eli once again reignites forgotten passion. Yet if Eli wants to make it work with Devan, he must decide if he’s ready for the biggest fight of his life.
About the Ringside Romance Series:
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.
4.5✨s – Christine d’Abo has written a very fine depiction of a second chance romance, one of the most genuine I’ve ever read. The story offers the POV of both characters, and elements that each contributed to the breakup are clear. Another difference is they’re a married couple and neither the breakup nor the reconciliation is treated superficially. Eli and Devan went through a very fast courtship and marriage and the prologue opens on the night that Eli breaks down and walks away. He insulates himself in the demands of MMA training and fighting, where he’s also forced to remain in the closet. Devan rebuilds his life and has his best friend, the prospective surrogate mother, for emotional support.
I’m trying not to spoil any details of the story but want to make clear that Eli did not walk away from a child. But it was still an awful thing to do to Devan. When Eli returns, to do promotion for his friends at Ringside Gym, Devan is made aware and he has pressing reasons to speak with Eli in person. Their emotions draw them together but progress is made slowly. I appreciated the level of communication, that both took ownership of their faults and Eli never made excuses or tried to guilt-trip Devan. Sex is also at a minimum, which goes along with the storyline and suits the pace of re establishing their relationship and rebuilding trust. That said, there were a couple of plot points used that I questioned, strongly. It overlooked the affordability and legal protections for surrogacy, the divorce process wasn’t treated logically, and Eli’s lack of attention was glossed over. (For three years? Seriously?!)
There was more focus on the gym in this story with Zack and Nolan as a large part, as well as appearances by Grady and Max. There’s a secondary character, Pierce that I think will be in a future story. For fans of second chance romance, I think this is quite worthwhile, since it avoids repetitive themes used in some other books. It’s a bit of a melancholy story at times but the ending and epilogues lifts the mood and satisfied my need for an HEA.
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.
Where to find Christine D’Abo:
To celebrate the release of Making 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 August 12, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!