Hello, my name is Christine d’Abo and I’m so happy to be here today.
All things, no matter how good and loved, must eventually come to an end. When I originally planned to write my Ringside Romance series, it was only going to be three books. But then my lovely Justin came into being and there was no way I could leave this world without giving him his happy ending. So here we are, at the final stop on the journey, with both excitement and a few tears.
Justin’s character was my way of showing myself that every character can be his or her own hero. That we don’t have to be slaves to our circumstances, that given the right motivation and support from those who love us, we can move past our own negativity and become someone more.
Justin thought the person to help him was Grady.
That was because he hadn’t met Finn yet.
By helping Finn find his voice, Justin realizes that there’s more to life, more to himself, than he’d ever realized. I hope you’ll join me for LOSING IT, the final tale in the world of the Ringside Gym, where even the most unlikely of heroes can find his happily ever after.
About Losing It
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.
I’ve enjoyed the Ringside Romance series and was curious to see where we’d end up in the 4th book now that the three friends at the core of the series have all gotten their HEAs. Losing It is about Finn, a new character, who is a shy tech guy who lives a fairly lonely life, though he wants to be anything but, and Justin, who just moved to Toronto for a fresh start with pretty much nothing but the clothes on his back and the knowledge that he wants things to be different. Justin was a fairly unlikable character when we met him in Faking It. Though he ended up doing the right thing in the end, I was curious to see how exactly he’d redeem himself in his own book.
This is a very quiet, slow sort of story. Justin and Finn feel an almost instant connection to each other, though they don’t quite figure out what it means until later in the book. Finn’s blinded by his crush on another gym member and takes Justin up on his offer to help him improve his conversational skills and overcome his shyness. The romance between Justin and Finn moves very slowly – it’s about 2/3 of the way into the book before they both finally admit to each other that they might be more than friends. It was nice, though, as they got to know each other well and form a strong connection.
Outside of the romance, Finn and Justin both show a lot of growth in overcoming personal obstacles. That’s one thing I’ve really enjoyed about this series, and that continues strongly here – the romances are sweet and steamy, but there’s so much happening outside of the relationship as well that gives the characters more dimension and makes their growth more believable rather than it just being an insta-fix because lurve.
While this can definitely be read as a standalone, I found it difficult to see exactly why Justin was as unlikeable and unlovable as he says he is here without going back and skimming some of his scenes in Faking It just to remind myself of his personality then. As I said, it can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend picking up the rest of the series if you haven’t already.
An advanced copy of this book was received from the publisher through NetGalley for review on OMGReads.
Justin comes to Toronto hoping he can restart his life. No job, no prospects, no money. He knows he needs to make changes to his life, his past hasn’t make him a very likable person. He goes to the gym to see the man he thought he was in love with and discovers although he loves Grady, he is not in love with him. While visiting, he is offered a job overseeing the renovation of an apartment in the gym. He settles in, knowing there is something missing in his life.
Finn is an IT guy, solitary, massively insecure. He is doing MMA training at the gym. Has a crush on Leo, another fighter. His shyness leaves him unable to speak a coherent sentence to his secret crush.
A speed dating event brings Finn and Justin together. Finn discovers he can talk to Justin with few problems. When Justin offers to give him dating tips, the two men start spending time together.
Finn and Leo finally go on a date and Finn discovers Leo is pretty much a jerk. Finn goes to see Justin and they fall into bed. While I like the two of them together, it felt rushed.
Issues with Justin’s family and Leo created annoying obstacles.
Over all I enjoyed the story. I liked how Finn and Justin helped each other become the men they should be.
It was nice to see glimpses of characters from the other books. It’s not necessary to read those before this one. However I think it would add to the enjoyment if the reader were familiar with the secondary players.
Review Copy requested and reviewed on behalf of OMG Reads
View all my reviews
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the 4th instalment in the Ringside Romance series and while it can be read as a standalone, I’d recommend you read the previous books in the series so you’ll have a better feel for the supporting characters.
This is Finn and Justin’s story. Finn Miller is a new character and Justin appeared in #2, Faking it. Justin turns up at the gym to see Grady, the son of his old boss ―and who at one time thought himself in love with. Justin then sees Finn; a regular at Ringside and they both notice each other and then see other again at a speed dating event organised by the gym.
Finn is infatuated with Leo, another guy who uses Ringside, but is extremely nervous and needs a little coaching with conversation and the whole dating side of things so in steps Justin who offers his help in getting him ready. Justin becomes attracted to Finn, and vice versa and after spending time together things take a turn and feelings start to develop. Leo is quite an unlikable character, certainly not deserving of Finn and Justin knows this, but will Finn see the truth and see that the ideal man for him is right under his nose?
I must admit, the ‘dating coach’ is a favourite trope of mine, I came across it a few times reading MF romance and I do enjoy it, especially when the person doing the coaching begins to have feelings and UST and jealousy abounds.
This was a nice read, and probably my favourite of the series as it had that bit of tension and simmer that I like, and I genuinely liked both MC’s. Their coming together wasn’t too ‘easy’ and it was nice seeing Finn evolve into a more confident guy and get what he deserved. While it didn’t light my Kindle on fire, it was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
Review Copy requested and reviewed on behalf of OMG Reads.
About Ringside Romance
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.
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.
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!
To celebrate the release of Losing 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 February 24, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!