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Foothills Pride #2

Redesigning Max

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Renowned interior designer Fredi Zimmer is surprised when outdoorsman Max Greene, owner of Greene’s Outdoors, hires Fredi to revamp his rustic cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Fredi is an out-and-proud Metro male whose contact with the outdoors is from his car to the doorway of the million-dollar homes he remodels, and Max is just too hunky for words.

When Max comes on to Fredi, the designer can't imagine why. But he’s game to put a little spice into Max’s life, even if it’s just in the colors and fixtures he’ll use to turn Max's dilapidated cabin into a showplace. Who can blame a guy for adding a little sensual pleasure as he retools Max’s life visually?

Max, for his part, is grateful when Fredi takes him in hand, both metaphorically and literally. Coming out is the most exciting and wonderful time in his life, despite the conservative former friends who think they’re saving him from sliding into hell.

98 pages, ebook

First published July 29, 2015

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About the author

Pat Henshaw

25 books76 followers
Pat has lived on both coasts and in the middle of the United States. Pat’s been a book reviewer for too many years to count as well as an English composition instructor and theatrical costumer. Places visited include Canada, Mexico, Europe, Egypt, Nicaragua, and Thailand. Pat's found that people everywhere are remarkably similar.

See Pat Henshaw.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 53 reviews
Profile Image for BWT.
2,171 reviews222 followers
January 2, 2016
I laughed, I gasped, I thrilled, I rolled my eyes! After an initial not-so-great beginning, I really got into and just plain enjoyed this short story.

I absolutely loved that Fredi, who seems like a foppish twink at first, is actually a BAMF who carries a blade and isn't afraid to use it to defend himself from homophobic assholes. Unfortunately this is a result of a pretty messed up and tragic past. However, learning about his past only made me like the character more.

I liked how honest and earnest Max is when explaining to Fredi about never being with a man before.

“Long story short. I’m gay. I’m attracted to you, but I’ve never done this before. I’ve got no clue what to do. Not one damn clue. Do I ask you out? Where do we go? What do we do? It’s like I’m in junior high again. So far all I seem to do is piss you off. I’m sure I look like the biggest ass in the world. I just…” He stopped and sighed. “I just want you to like me as much as I do you. Only I don’t know how.”

It was sweet that though Fredi and Max seem like polar opposites at first, they go on to find out they have actually tons in common. Even better, this isn't an "insta-love" - they actually get to know each other, date, and spend time together for months, before they ever get to the I Love You's.

As the days and weeks followed, our courtship and the house remodel seemed to be on identical tracks. Little glitches and minor arguments flared up seemingly on the same days, but mostly the courtship and the remodel followed the lines I’d mapped out.
We had meals together and got to know each other. We talked about the mountains, the forest, the animals, and the birds. He told me about rafting and camping trips. I talked about houses I’d designed and offices I’d redesigned. We shared our triumphs and our woes.


It's very sweet, if completely implausible, that everything bringing them together is like they're fated to be together.

There were some really funny moments, including the scene when Max takes Fredi to see the cabin the first time...I laughed so hard I nearly choked.

The cabin was in worse shape than I’d imagined. The wooden planks of the porch and stairs leading to the front door were cracked and looked unsafe, so I again gingerly stepped around the buckled, uneven surface, hoping I wouldn’t break a leg in the process.
Max had trouble opening the front door and finally resorted to giving the warped wood a grunt-inducing shove.
Inside, it was as if a pack of mountain lions had lived there and brought their prey inside to devour. The stench as Max opened the door nearly knocked me off my feet.
“Uh, it’s always, um, smelled like this.” Max shrugged and hung his head. “Tried everything I can think of to get rid of it.” Another shrug.
Oh. My. God. I’d stepped into a charnel house. I got out my hanky and pressed it to my nose. I’d have to have the Behr brothers come in and do a structural evaluation. There had to be termites, rodents, and other creepy-crawlies, right?


The HEA is a little over the top, but it fits with the characters and the story.

My biggest complaint is there was no on page sex, which was a major disappointment for me after the build-up between Fredi and Max.

All in all it's a sweet and humorous short story that manages to break out of a cookie cutter mold and even pack a few unexpected punches along the way.

Copy generously provided by The Romance Readers in exchange for an honest review.

This review has been cross-posted at Reviews by Jessewave
Profile Image for Gigi.
2,156 reviews1,044 followers
Shelved as 'back-burner-for-now'
July 29, 2015
Is it just me or is that Sean Paul Lockhart/Brent Corrigan on the cover?
Profile Image for Sylvia.
1,430 reviews12 followers
November 14, 2015
Hmm…

Too many cliché’s
Fredi : twink ,flamboyant, talks with a lisp, has mayor insecurities ,dramatic past ect.
Max: Outdoorsman (butch) shy, gentle giant type, he’s the still waters run deep and came out later in life you know the typical…
Homophobic Rednecks (seriously why so much drama?)

The story was sweet though…
Profile Image for Christy.
3,770 reviews110 followers
January 10, 2023
"Some days I can barely lift my hands for another “Oh. My. God! Look. At. You. Girl!” Some days my inner bitch claws to get out. Some days I wonder if any of us can possibly be sane enough to cross the street by ourselves."

I absolutely adored twink extraordinaire, Fredi, when I met him during Jimmy and Guy's book. He made me laugh a lot, and I sure needed that. Still do, as a matter of fact, which is why I grabbed 'Redesigning Max' so I could see exactly what Fredi could do with a real man's man, just recently out. *grins*

Max and Fredi meet when Max comes looking for someone to redo his mountain cabin. Of course, Max didn't really understand what a true interior designer can do for you. He just assumed Fredi would look at it, come up with a plan, get it done, and Max would pay for it. Max didn't realize he had to actually answer questions! About himself! About what he wanted! Oh, it was almost too much. Although, when Fredi pulled out his hanky to cover his nose before he walked into the cabin/charnel house, I had to put the book down to get a good laugh.

There's more to this story and these men, though, than just a lot of laughs.

Please find my full review at Rainbow Book Reviews
Profile Image for namericanwordcat.
2,442 reviews414 followers
August 2, 2017
This is my second time trying this writer and like the first time, this book didn't work for me, It isn't awful and I like the basic writing but it is too shallow and doesn't do the work needed to make it a love story to believe in.

Again, I like the heroes. Max has inherited wealth for outdoor rec stores and some hidden talents, Fredi is at the top of his profession (a little young for that but okay).

Max had realized he is gay and pursues Fredi. This is very sweet and up front. And again if the characters where developed and the story driven by the characters it would be a good book. I like the slow burn dating. I like the Fredi protects himself. There is cool stuff in both books about recording and reporting hate crimes.

Max and Fredi both have awful pasts and we don't really get to see that. We are told that.

Again the love scene are off page and this hurts the development of the connection between them and the love story.

Then there is crazy homophobia that is resolved but takes up the place of better character work. And then saccharine stuff that isn't earned.

So. Not great.
Profile Image for Shannon.
2,163 reviews39 followers
July 22, 2016
I actually thought this was a cute, if unbelievable, story so why the low rating you ask? I'll tell you. Because we have a man sex virgin here and the book had ZERO SEX!! I mean they had sex but we didn't get ANY of it. Not even heavy petting!! And that my friends is just all kinds of fucked up. Enough said.

(And Max's 70's porn star 'stache needs to fucking GO)
Profile Image for Meggie.
4,899 reviews
August 6, 2015
Sure this story is totally sweet, but in same amount totally bland and full of clishe's.
I won't even talk about emotions, it's like a blank page.
Profile Image for Tinnean.
Author 78 books434 followers
August 26, 2015
I liked this very much, but it was another book where the last 16% was a trailer for a sequel.
Profile Image for Anne Barwell.
Author 18 books100 followers
September 25, 2020
I enjoyed this sweet low angst romance with wonderful characters about the importance of being yourself. I started reading and couldn’t put it down, so read it in one sitting.

I loved how Fredi isn’t a pushover, and is ready, and more than able, to defend himself if he has to. I liked how the author didn’t just tell us that he’s an interior designer but showed it with the intelligent questions he asks which reflect his creativity. I felt for Max having to deal with homophobes not only in his own town, but people he’s known just about all his life. He’s had a sad life, so deserves some happiness. I love how he tells one of the old guys a few home truths. Go Max! He and Fredi are perfect for each other.

I also loved the small town vibe of the story, with its feel of found family, and how Fredi’s friends are there for him. The way Fredi and Max get around Fredi’s not dating a client is very clever.

The revelations about both men towards the end of the book are perfect, and I loved the HEA. I’m looking forward to reading more in the series.
Profile Image for Becky Condit.
2,377 reviews69 followers
October 16, 2016
Redesigning Max is a sweet love story. We met the famous interior designer and artist Fredi as a friend of Jimmy in the first book of this series, What’s In a Name. I recommend reading the short novella, What’s in a Name, first, just because it’s so good, but Redesigning Max can be read as a stand alone book.
Max is the owner of Greene’s Outdoors in the valley of the Sierra Nevada foothills. The small town has become home to a number of gay men who left San Francisco when property values soared. Not everyone in town is a gay ally, and in fact, a few are rabidly homophobic, but mostly it’s a peaceful town. Max grew up there and is well known around town as a straight, macho man. He’s carrying deep secrets that he is not willing to reveal even to himself.
Max owns a house in town and he also inherited his grandfather’s old cabin in the mountains. The cabin views are breathtaking and Max would like to remodel it as a restful hideaway. He’s heard about the flamboyant Fredi’s reputation as a remodeler/designer for the wealthy and wants to hire him for the job.
Fredi’s approach to remodeling is to ask the client a lot of personal questions so he can design a look that fits the client, not Fredi’s own style. Max feels Fredi is getting too close to Max’s secrets, which causes some back and forth friction between the two.
I liked watching Max and Fredi find things they have in common, some of which seem natural and at least one of which is a surprise. They also have a common enemy in town. They recognize that Steve is a homophobic jerk but don’t realize just how deep his hatred is or how far he will go to pursue his sick vengeance against gay people until a calamity happens that affects both Max and Fredi.
This is a great followup to What’s In a Name, and it’s also a good love story that stands on its own. I should warn those who like juicy sex in their romances that there is no on page sex in this book. It’s there, just referred to rather than graphically presented. Sometimes, as in this book, you don’t need all of the details to get the picture. I recommend Redesigning Max as a fun, enjoyable romance with memorable characters, good and bad, and I recommend Pat Henshaw as a romance writer to follow.
Profile Image for Morgan  Skye.
2,784 reviews27 followers
January 8, 2017
Fredi is a friend of Guy and Jimmy, he’s very out and proud and a famous architect and designer. Max is a “straight” guy who runs an outdoor shop and he hires Fredi to redesign a cabin for him.

Fredi is out and proud, swishy at times and not afraid to “gay it up”. Max is a big, bearish, lumber-jack type who is socially awkward and shy.

Max doesn’t know how to act on his feelings, so he keeps screwing up and making Fredi upset. Finally, the two talk and pretty much from that point forward the relationship is set.

The rest of the story is about the town accepting them and their new relationship status.

**

I really, really enjoyed the first book in this series and I enjoy Pat Henshaw’s writing very much. I loved both MCs and thought the OFY and all the co-incidences the two men encountered were charming (if unbelievable).

What didn’t work for me: 1) that all the sex was off page or suggested at 2) that we never understood why ALL of Max’s family is dead, suddenly 3) the strangely violent reactions (Boner, the knife and the arson)

I really wanted more relationship building and less town drama, more sex and less violence and a bit more from Max’s POV.

I still enjoyed this and for fans of the first book I’d recommend this one as well. It’s a standalone, no need to read book one, but it’s nice if you have.

3.5 of 5 stars

Audio

I expected David Ross to give Fredi a more “colorful” voice than he did. Guy – from book one and again here – has a lovely deep bass, so I figured Fredi would be a little more “swishy”. Max’s voice is great. He’s got a vaguely country drawl that more or less suits him and definitely helps to differentiate him from Fredi and Guy.

This is still a good way to experience this story and, overall, the narrator is easy to listen to and doesn’t distract.

4.5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,682 reviews443 followers
September 30, 2015
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.75 stars


This is one of those books that is heavy on the stereotypes, yet you can’t put it down. Fredi is an over-the-top gay man who has realized that the gayer he acts, the more business he brings in. As he narrates the story, we get glimpses of his inner thoughts, which I have to say are hilarious! Max, on the other hand, has led the life of a straight man, complete with having been engaged to a woman. Built like a lumberjack, dressed like a frontiersman, living in a house that lacks anything that could be construed as décor, Fredi assumes Max is straighter than an arrow. Until Max tells Fredi that he’s gay and attracted to him.

Fredi has had a few problems in the past with fraternizing with a client and insists that the two of them engage in a business only relationship until the cabin remodel is complete. Over the next few months, the two engage in a getting-to-know you relationship without benefits. The two realize that maybe they have more things in common than they realized.

In the meantime, Max and Fredi have to face down bigotry and homophobia coming from the conservative members of the town. While some are willing to stand up for Max and Fredi, others are determined to save their souls at any cost.

This is a sweet read…meaning, if you are looking for sexy scenes, you aren’t going to find them. Despite the sexual tension building between these two, the bedroom door is firmly shut and the lights are off!

Read Jay’s review in its entirety here.
Profile Image for Cathy Brockman.
Author 5 books92 followers
January 5, 2017
Freddy is an award winning designer. He is surprised when Max a sexy, lumberjack type guy hires him to design his cabin in the woods. Max finds Freddy intriguing and they become friends and lovers.

Redesigning Max was a cute, short story. It is a book two of the Foothills Pride series but I followed just fine without having read the first, and now I want the first! The characters are interesting. I love Freedy being flamboyant but able to take care of himself in a world of big men and bigotry. I liked how the story touches on all the haters and how that it evolves.

If you like designers, artists, opposites attract, coming out and an allover good romance you should like this one.

Profile Image for Morningstar.
Author 10 books164 followers
August 7, 2015
Way to many cliches and not enough on screen development of their relationship. Obstacles? Tough times? Dates? Talks?
Profile Image for The Quille and Lampe.
207 reviews26 followers
May 22, 2021
What I Think: Its been a while and for that, I apologise. Juggling work, lab tests of all kinds, cracking teeth due to Sjorhren’s and being a surrogate parent is exhausting and its hard to find the energy and space in my mind for my tales. But, in the immortal words of Fela Kuti, “sha, we still dey” ( we are still here). And all confirmed bookworms know that tales are still the safest refuge in a world getting more insane by the minute. This tale was just the right kind to get me back on track. First, though let me admit that I didn’t know how to describe this tale. Perhaps, I was in the wrong mental space at the beginning but Fredi reminds me so much of my man side, except I’d replace his fashion with an Afropunk version but still dapper and I have a huge thing for fashion so even my man side loves his guy makeup been when exuding that so-called masculine confidence. Also, my very first job was as an interior decorator at my mum’s architecture and interior design store so Fredi and I were tight instantly. (Side Step – Conversations are like dancing, non? Anyway, there is something so fulfilling about changing a person’s home to fit not only their present but their future as well. For someone as impatient as I am, it is almost insta-gratification as you add each article, color and piece just so. Then when you’re done and step back, looking at your work through the overjoyed eyes of your clients,the satiation is so real, I can taste it). Back to the tale! But then Max steps in, confusing Fredi and I with his gorgeousness and mixed signals and I felt almost sorry for Fredi even as I side-eyed Manly Man Max. But as Max gradually begins to let his intentions show, I wanted to protect this big boy that’s so gentle and clumsy but as earnest as he is honest yet I couldn’t see how he would survive in Fredi’s world, especially when Fredi is almost hurt and has to whip out his weapon. A real weapon, people. Git ya minds outta the gutter. I fell in love with Freddi at that point. Fully aware of what he risks living his truth openly while prepared to defend himself and bring the pain. I so wanted to be by his side with a machete. Yes, it might be overkill but I have never seen anyone who didn’t step away from a a proper machete. Just when I thought it was over and was tempted to read the last page to be sure they became a couple, Max steps up his game and shows Freddie and I just how serious he is. This contract now includes bringing out the real Max and I am so jeer for it. The way he instantly knows how to soothe and distract his flamboyant boyfriend just made me melt alongside Freddie. Then to find out that they were so connected in near impossible things just slayed me. I want! But you know the haters will always turn up. And they did in such horrific ways and words that the waterworks spilled out as Max broke down in Fredi’s arms. It made me remember the Senegalese boy stoned to death in front of his family house almost a decade ago and I wept. I could no longer tell if I was crying for my latest couple,the murdered kid or myself.Good thing Senegal has changed amd continues to do so. But Mme. Pat didn’t let me dwell on that for long as the tale just turned sweeter and sweeter, filling me up with sugar as the bitterness faded away. My favorite scene was the end. In a very simple way and in very few sentences, Fredi wanted to put Max’s friends at ease and Max showed that he loved Fredi and every inch of his fashionable, mad, bad and dangerous self. And, oh, my sigh of longing was filled with hope.

Verdict? A comfort keeper of a tale showing that not only do opposites attract, but sometimes they are downright necessary to fill the empty spaces in each other!
Profile Image for Angela Goodrich.
1,608 reviews76 followers
June 28, 2018
I received a free copy of this audiobook to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.

I enjoyed Redesigning Max a lot more than What’s in a Name? While I could have used a few more scenes focusing on Fredi and Max’s developing relationship, I found both men to be more interesting characters, especially Fredi. He introduces himself as a successful architect and interior designer who’s more than willing to turn up his twink dial – adding a bit more swish and exaggerating his lisp – to seal the deal on a new contract. As if that weren’t enough for me to adore him, his refusal to back down from bullies and his ability to have his own back were the icing on the cake and the cherry on top. Add in Max, who is not what he appears and is everything Fredi didn’t know he needed, and I was far more entertained during this visit to the Sierra Foothills – even if the homophobia was more blatant and more dangerous than in book one.

One of the things that made Redesigning Max fun was that the differences between Fredi and Max that are so obvious at the start of the book are soon outweighed by the unexpected commonalities the two have. Fredi makes it clear that he is not an outdoorsman, yet he and Max share a love of birdwatching and it’s that shared love which elevates his designs for Max’s redecoration. Even though there is an immediate attraction, Max’s inexperience and Fredi’s “No Dating Clients” rule means the guys take some time getting to know one another instead of jumping straight into bed. In spite of this, the reader (or listener) is still only provided a few scenes that are deep enough to connect with the characters fully. Ugh! I’m not saying this right. I really liked both Fredi and Max, and I was invested in their relationship and them building a future together, but it’s as if Henshaw planned a bigger story than the novella format allowed for, so we didn’t get to delve as deep into the relationship as I would have liked. In addition to the romance, there is a romantic suspense element that heightens then tension a bit. The romantic suspense thread was well-telegraphed, but considering this is a novella, it would have been difficult for the author to build much mystery into it, so Henshaw relies on the crime itself and the characters’ confusion over who could have done such a thing as the means of building the tension – and it worked out very nicely.

For me, David Ross’ narrative performance got better from book one to book two. Perhaps the characters posed more of a challenge or maybe Ross was more comfortable with the tone of the series, but I LOVED the sassy vulnerability he infused in Fredi and the scared excitement of Max. Both men felt more realistic and like people I’d enjoying spending time with. I’m not sure what else to say except that I’m hoping to have a chance to listen to book three, Behr Facts, as I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to the Sierra Foothills.

Wicked Reads Review Team
Profile Image for ❤Sharonica-Logic❤.
580 reviews13 followers
September 3, 2020
Redesigning Max by Pat Henshaw
MMy Thoughts Confessions and Review

This is the second book in the Foothills Pride series and my second read by Henshaw. I did not think I could enjoy characters better than I did in book one, however, color me impressed and in love with stoic Max and vivacious Freddie.

Typically, in stories where one MC is out and proud and the other is not, either through fear, confusion, or another circumstance there is quite a bit of angst going on between the MCs. That isn’t the case here, even if there is a moment or two of wondering if there “might be a set up going on,” with some of the jack-leg homophobes in town.

Once Freddie and Max get to know each other something akin to a soul-mate connection happens and beautiful happenstances occur again and again. These little and big moments made me so happy for both of the MCs, and I adored each time a person, a painting, a house, a memory, a story was shared and one or the other of them had a connection to that person, place, or thing. It was magical and made my soul smile. For anyone who has ever had this kind of friendship or relationship in your life, you will love this story. For anyone who has ever dreamed of having a relationship like this, it will give your heart hope.

I loved Max and Freddie and I hope to see them around really soon.

Sharonica’s Logic: 4.50 soulmates-aren’t-just-fairytale-stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟. ✨


I received a complimentary copy of this book from OtherWorldsInk in exchange for my review.
✨🌈✨
Profile Image for Fritz42.
1,308 reviews
July 31, 2018
Fredi is an award-winning architect and interior designer who is approached by Max, the owner of a local outdoors store. Max wants Fredi to remodel the disaster of a cabin that he had inherited from his uncle. Right away, Fredi is attracted to Max, but he can't figure Max out. Is Max straight or gay? He keeps getting confusing signals from Max, and that has him terrified due to conflicts - two of them very serious - in his past. (Those two incidents just described and not experienced on page were like gut punches to me.)

Max was a quiet, taciturn man who blushed more than he talked. His quiet nature caused some communication problems with Fredi, but after an altercation, Max broke out of his introverted nature and was able to let Fredi know his feelings.

I loved Max. Like Fredi, I just wanted to wrap him up in my arms, especially when I found out about his childhood. He changes so much in this book. It's like he finally had someone who believed in the true Max and gave him permission to live the life he wanted. He was hilarious when confronting the horrible bigoted people in the area.

I read this book first in the series, and after seeing Jimmy and Guy interact with these two, I'm definitely going to have to check out the rest of the books in this series.
Profile Image for Monika .
2,082 reviews32 followers
August 26, 2017

Redesigning Max is a sweet, slow burn story. I adored Fredi and Max, but there were a few times I thought I had missed something and had to go back and re-read passages to see if I had but nope I hadn't. This author just moved along a bit quicker than I would have liked. Also both this story and What's in a Name? book 1 of the Foothills Pride series have no on page sex, which is absolutely fine with me, but a fade to black would have been better than just ignoring the fact these guys had sex especially Max's first time. IMO fade to black ramps up the sexual tension it's too bad this story was missing that.

Redesigning Max was still worth the read and hasn't put me off reading more in the Foothills Pride Series because the concept and the characters are gread. I'm looking forward to reading Behr Facts book 3 of the series.
Profile Image for Amneris Cesare.
Author 36 books51 followers
June 24, 2018
For those who love flamboyant but strong and brave MCs, this is the MM for them. Started nicely and funny, but then went too much homophobic monster lumberjack to me to poor queer couple going living in the forest. Too out of character, too loud on the homophobic side. But something that one can read on a Sunday afternoon with no alternatives for leisure. 3,5 stars to me.
Profile Image for Nicole.
1,942 reviews1 follower
June 7, 2017
Story of Fredi a designer and Max business owner of Greene's outdoors. Max asks Fredi to look at his cabin and come up with a design to update it. Fast paced story. In a relationship within a matter of days but was good storyline.
Profile Image for Elayne.
983 reviews
July 16, 2017
Book 2 in my binge read of this series. Again great MC's, different protagonists, same theme! This is shaping up really nicely
Profile Image for Lada.
865 reviews10 followers
July 29, 2017
In spite of some hate crime that happened in the story, this was actually a fluffy, sweet, no sex romance. Fredi and Max moved pretty fast, but I had no problem with it.
Profile Image for Love Bytes Reviews.
2,529 reviews36 followers
August 6, 2015
3.5 Heart Review by Dan

We’re back for the next installment in Pat Henshaw’s Foothill Pride series. As many of you might remember, I raved about What’s in a Name when I reviewed it back in January. I loved that book and have been looking forward to the continuation of the series.

This time we’re focusing on Fredi Zimmer, the over the top architect/interior designer we met in the first book in the series, who was responsible for the redo of the coffee shop that his friend Jimmy co-owns. We don’t hear much from Jimmy and Guy in this book, which was a little disappointing. I thought there would be a redo of the Stonewall Saloon in this installment, and some continuation of the characters, but we didn’t go there, except for a couple brief mentions.

Fredi has moved to town and he is sitting in the coffee shop one morning when he is approached by a tall hunk of a man, who says his name is Max Greene, and who says he would like Fredi to help him on the interior of his cabin. After checking with the café’s staff and finding out the guy is on the up and up, Fredi jumps in the guy’s monster truck and heads 40 minutes out into the woods to see the cabin. Did I mention he is dressed in a vintage teal sharkskin suit, with a fire engine red shirt and antique ivory lace tie? My eyeballs hurt and I couldn’t even see it! Not the best attire to head up into the mountains in a monster truck to look at a remote log cabin!

What will happen when they get to the cabin and it smells like something died inside? What will happen when Max comes on to Fredi in front of a bunch of conservative rednecks and they throw a fit over Fredi “turning” Max homosexual?

There isn’t much else that I can say without doing more spoilers than are already in the blurb and discussed above. To sum up the book, I would say it has some drama, some action, some homophobes and a kind of cutesy love story that seemed to lack enough details to make me happy.

It seems authors are moving more and more to novellas. I know many readers in this genre enjoy that length story and less details. But I particularly didn’t like getting to 85% and finding the end of the book, with the beginning of the next book conveniently packaged onto the end of this one. As I’m reading a book, I’m always looking at the percentage read so I know how much more story I have….when it ends prematurely it bugs me. It bugs me a lot.

As with the first book in the series, all sex occurs in fade to black. I think the book could have benefited from some sex, as I did on book one as well, but that was the author’s choice. The romance aspect was a little understated on this one as well. This book can easily be read as a standalone, but I’d recommend reading What’s in a Name? as well. Book one was fantastic, but keeping it real, all in all, I am going to have say this current installment fits best with a rating of Liked It/Above Average. It could have been great with more details. Although I enjoyed reading the book and look forward to hearing from the three Behr brothers down the road, I seriously hope book three has a little more oomph than this current one.

This book was provided free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes. Go there to check out other reviews, author interviews, and all those awesome giveaways. Click below.
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Profile Image for Ro.
3,014 reviews17 followers
October 24, 2018
Max is a rich man who now owns a dilapidated cabin in the woods. He wants it redesigned to make it uniquely his, to reflect himself. He is recommended to use the services of Fredi, a proud, flamboyant, colorful designer. Max is a big, outdoorsy “lumberjack” kind of guy but he’s also a little shy and soft spoken. For his part, Fredi may come across as a little twink, but do not underestimate this man. He runs a successful business and knows his talent. He is lethal if pushed. I absolutely loved that about him. He and Boner take no abuse.
There are some odd things about Max’s demeanor. For example, he doesn’t want to answer questions about what he wants the cabin to be yet he wants it to be a representation of himself. Once he gets past that, he absolutely stresses, “Don’t want to talk about the bedroom…No questions.” That was strange to me, since Max doesn’t seem to be reticent about his life. There is more to Max than meets the eye. Yes, he’s a big, strong, rich guy. What he isn’t is a spoiled guy. He had a difficult childhood and it’s what is driving him to make this cabin his haven. He wants something but he just isn’t sure how to ask for it. It’s sweet and it makes you like him that much more. “I just want you to like me as much as I do you. Only I don’t know how.” He is precious. “I don’t know what I want. I only know I want more than I have now.” It’s awkward and lovely and wonderful.
The two make a sort of truce about the design and they also start to get to know each other, eventually becoming more than client and designer. They have to overcome Fredi’s rule about not dating clients, a lesson he learned the hard way in the past. They are also faced with some serious homophobia in the community, basically led by Max’s uncle’s best friend. Out and out bigots and just disgusting, if all too realistic. It was a nice touch to see how much of the community didn’t tolerate that behavior from that one group.
I admit, when I read this story as an ebook, I had to make my rating a little lower because there were too many coincidences (big ones, in my opinion) that made this seem more like a fated mates type of story. Somehow, in the audio version I didn’t have the same issue. I liked David Ross’ narration very much. I felt his voice fit both Max and Fredi, which is sometimes difficult when we have such different characters.
I liked the story and the characters. Unfortunately, the homophobia seemed real and Fredi’s history of facing bigotry did as well. I can hope these guys make a success of everything. The ending is a little bit fairy tale but that was okay with me – by the time we got to it, I felt they deserved it.
Profile Image for Inked Reads.
825 reviews22 followers
August 4, 2015
FiveStars
I read the first installment of the Foothills Pride series, so I was really excited to see another one. These are wonderful, smart stories that prove it takes a village to make a book come alive.
I was half in love with Fredi from the first page. He is, as several characters put it, "out there," entirely unashamed of who is is and wonderfully flamboyant. He admits to playing it up for some of his design clients, but it's pretty clear a lot of it is his natural personality. What I love is that despite being a bit of a gay cliche on the surface, he is in no way a stereotype or a stock character. Fredi has some fabulous surprises up his sleeve, and it's fun to discover him over the course of the story.

Max starts out as a mystery, seemingly opposite Fredi in every way. He also seems to be a bit of a small-town outdoorsman cliche, but he too proves first impressions can be misleading. That was the most fun part of this story--letting go of initial reactions and letting these men tell their tale.

Pat Henshaw is a fantastic writer with a knack for creating memorable characters and settings. So far, this series has been two for two winners, and I can't wait to read the next part.
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Inked Reads.
Amy

FourStars

Such a sweet story! Butch, closeted Max hires flamboyant Fredi to re-design his hunting cabin. Told from Fredi’s POV, the stylish, urban designer is bewildered by the silent Max and his conservative, redneck community.

I fell in love with Fredi. His character was fascinating and his voice felt very real as he navigated redneck bullies with his quick wit and an antique hunting knife. I loved his fashion, his friends and the whole foothills community.

Max was a bit more complicated for me. Like Fredi, I was confused by Max’s sexuality at the outset. Max also seemed to have very little control over his life. It took a while for Max to start asserting himself and standing up to the bullies. By the end of the book, I respected him, but it took a while.

The only thing I found difficult about the book were the cliche homophobic redneck bad guys. This part of the plot felt really dated. The story is a good one; it doesn’t need the additional drama.

Ultimately, this is a sweet, gentle story. The two very different men have a great deal in common. Fredi helps Max ease his way out of his closet and Max gives Fredi confidence. They both make each other very happy.
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Inked Reads.
Sarah
Profile Image for Elaine White.
Author 41 books237 followers
August 15, 2016
Book – Redesigning Max (Foothills Pride #2)
Author – Pat Henshaw
Star rating - ★★★★☆
No. of Pages – 98

Cover – Really Nice
POV – 1st person, 1 character
Would I read it again – Yes

Genre – LGBT, Contemporary, Romance


** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY DREAMSPINNER PRESS, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine


Already, just two books into the series, I’ve noted the pattern it will take:
• homophobic hate crime element
• insta-love
• everyone is connected to everyone
• slipping into present tense and talking to the reader

Again, I missed the “getting to know each other” aspect of the romance, but this one was a little more realistic than book 1, since they went on days/weeks worth of dates. It just would have been nice to see them.

The lack of on page sex, again, was fine and appropriate for the story, though it probably would have benefitted from some kind of discussion or acknowledgement of how it had gone, since Max had never been with a man before. Instead, like a lot of the relationship stuff, it was glossed over.

The confusing timeline reared its ugly head again, only it was much better and less prevalent than book 1. The crime element was a little bit more believable and I had a good giggle over Junior’s part in the whole Max/Steve face-off. Though it’s a serious issue and sadly realistic, Junior offered a little light relief.

Overall, I was disappointed that it ended at 85%, but the story had gone as far as it needed to. Still, I’d have liked more focus put on the progression of the relationship that happened crazily fast.

-

Favourite Quotes

““Son, I just wanted to say that your daddy would be real ashamed of you letting this homosexual turn you like he did,” the man pontificated.
What the fuck? It took all I had not to laugh. Turned? Like a vampire? I hadn’t so much as kissed Max, let alone sunk my teeth into the man, though both ideas were good ones.”

“Drama before several cups of coffee is downright rude.”
Profile Image for Morgan  Skye.
2,784 reviews27 followers
August 15, 2015

Fredi is a famous architect and designer, he’s asked by Max to re-design his cabin in the woods that he’s recently inherited.

Fredi is out and proud, swishy at times and not afraid to “gay it up”. Max is a big, bearish, lumber-jack type who is socially awkward and shy. Fredi is so attracted to the guy but then thinks he could get pummeled for the attraction by the “obviously straight” Max.

Meanwhile, Max simply doesn’t know how to act on his feelings, so he keeps screwing up and making Fredi upset. Finally, the two talk and pretty much from that point forward the relationship is set.

The rest of the story is about the town accepting them and their new relationship status.

**

I really, really enjoyed the first book in this series and I enjoy Pat Henshaw’s writing very much. I loved both MCs and thought the OFY and all the co-incidences the two men encountered were charming (if unbelievable).

What didn’t work for me: 1) that all the sex was off page or suggested at 2) that we never understood why ALL of Max’s family is dead, suddenly 3) the strangely violent reactions (Boner, the knife and the arson)

I really wanted more relationship building and less town drama, more sex and less violence and a bit more from Max’s POV.

I still enjoyed this and for fans of the first book I’d recommend this one as well. It’s a standalone, no need to read book one, but it’s nice if you have.

3.5 of 5 stars
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