Author Name: Pat Henshaw
Book Name: Redesigning Max
Series: Foothills Pride
Can be read as a standalone
Release Date: July 29, 2015
Renowned interior designer Fredi Zimmer is surprised when outdoorsman Max Greene, owner of Greene’s Hunting and Fishing, hires him to remodel 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 gorgeous for words.
When Max starts coming 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 rustic 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, he finds is the most exciting and wonderful time of his life, despite the conservative former friends who want to stop his slide into hell.
Pages or Words: 73 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Romance
By the time we got to the Rock Bottom Cafe, I felt like I’d bottomed out. I was hungry, tired, and feeling the first twinges of a headache.
Max hadn’t exaggerated about how much I’d hate the Rock Bottom’s decor. It was the worst of rural cafe: hellacious plastic flowers, grotesque plastic-covered booths, peeling gangrene-painted beadboard walls, pockmarked linoleum floor, and faded food-stained menus. It made the cabin look almost palatial, except it didn’t smell as bad.
As Max slid into one side of a booth and I into the other, he said, “Food’s great here. Okay?”
I glared at him, but I had to admit the odors coming from the kitchen wove seductively around us.
After we’d ordered and had gotten glasses of iced tea, which I liberally dosed with artificial sweetener, Max leaned back in his side of the booth and blew out a little breath.
“So guess here’s what you need to know about me.” He was looking at the tabletop. “I was an only kid when my folks died. Raised by my aunt and uncle with their four boys. I was the youngest and nobody cared what I thought, so I don’t talk much.”
Oh dear. I wasn’t sure which of those statements I should answer, if any. My heart bled for the beautiful man in front of me who would give me a raging hard-on if I let my libido take control.
His words and lack of self-pity made me want to create a unique space where he’d feel completely at home and that would soothe him when he needed it. I probably wouldn’t end up his BFF or someone he could unbend with, but I could create a warm cocoon to shelter and coddle the man or let him entertain his friends comfortably.
The image of the young Max feeling like an outsider when he was thrust on his uncaring aunt and uncle to raise was banished by the waitress who put lunch in front of us.
“Oh. My. God!” I nearly drooled into the chili and homemade bread as I tasted them. “This is incredible.”
“What’d I tell you?” Max gloated. “Said you shouldn’t be put off by the decor. Some of us are more than our decor.”
I spooned up a couple of bites, then looked at Max. “You really do think I’m a snob, don’t you?”
Why was it so easy to get him to blush? I hadn’t a clue, but his quick, mercurial red cheeks had me intrigued.
“No, no, I don’t think you’re a snob,” he protested. “I mean, you’re just so….” He waved a couple of fingers at me, but kept his elbows on the table as if protecting his bowl of chili.
“I’m so what?”
Max shrugged. “I don’t know. Beautiful. And fancy,” he added, ducking his head over his bowl.
Ah, I understood now. Max was intimidated by my suit.
“Look, you came to get me in the coffee shop. I was dressed to take a rich lady through her house later this afternoon. I can work in jeans and a T-shirt”—did Max think I wore suits every day?—“or anything I want. Pajamas even. You just caught me on a suit day.” Which, I didn’t add, was too often for even my overblown sense of style.
Now Max was staring at me.
“Yeah, right. You wear jeans,” he scoffed, but looked interested, intrigued.
I shrugged. “Okay, not when I’m with a client. At home I’m way more casual.” I might have sounded a tad defensive.
“Yeah, right,” Max muttered with a grin.
I left it lying there. It wasn’t worth fighting about. But it bothered me that he saw such a divide between us. I was just a man, wasn’t I? Just like him, right? What was he going on about? Sheesh.
Today we have the pleasure of talking to Fredi Zimmer from Redesigning Max. He is always available for questions. You might not like the answers, but that’s never stopped Fredi from giving them.
Q: Now that you’ve gotten together, what comes next?
A: What comes next? Happily ever after, right? Or real life, which is probably the best we can all hope for. I’m going to continue working as a designer and as an architect/artist. Max, now that he’s retired, is going to go tromping through the forest looking at birds and taking notes. It’s pretty much ho-hum and worrying about what’s for dinner. Oh, yeah, and sex. There’s always sex, right?
Q: What was the hardest thing for you to overcome that you didn’t expect to be an issue?
A: His wardrobe, darling! I have never seen so many plaid shirts and identical blue jeans in one place outside an Eddie Bauer outlet. Ugh. You know, I bought him a light blue mohair sweater a couple of weeks ago because winter’s coming and I couldn’t stand to see another brown sweater pop out of a drawer. You know what he did with it? He put it on to “walk down by the river.” The thing isn’t fit to mop floors with now. Men! Oh, wait. I’m a man too. Okay, revision: Some men!
Q: Who or what makes you laugh out loud?
A: I hate to say it, well, because Jimmy’s my favorite friend in the whole wide world, but I think Guy is hysterically funny. You know, for a tough-looking man, he’s always so guilelessly clueless. The other day he said something like, “Babe,” talking to Jimmy, “why don’t you wear something classy like Fredi?” I thought Jimmy was going to run over him on his motorcycle since Jimmy was wearing a really nice Murilo Lomas outfit, so chic, so now. Then Guy says, “You should talk to Fredi about getting something new.” Jimmy got snippy and said, “Fredi’s the one who talked me into buying this.” Guy gave him the up-and-down, then muttered a “huh” and turned away. After two steps, he looked back at Jimmy and grinned this lewd smile. I thought I’d split a gut.
Q: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
A: Whatcha got, honey? Ice cream and I bonded when I was a kid, and really, I’m not picky. Cold and creamy are all I ask in ice cream. Just plain old creamy is what I want in other things.
Q: What movie will you watch over and over again?
A: Priscilla, of course. Is there any other movie worth watching over and over? Hugo Weaving is to die for. Guy Pierce? We could easily be besties. And I’d adore to sit down and chat with Terence Stamp about his amazing acting career. While we’re at it, could I please, please take costumer Tim Chappel out for coffee? Please?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
i haven’t read book 1 yet, but i’m going to go back and read it. i started this book once and put it down but revisited and really liked it. yes there were cliches and it was a very predictable but it was still very cute and heartwarming.
i liked big, shy, blushing, sweet max. growing up the way he did surprisingly didn’t make him a negative person, it had the opposite effect on him and he was a charming, smart, lovely man. fredi brought out the best in him and gave him the opportunity to be himself and enjoy life. fredi appears to be a flamboyant twink that can’t take care of himself, someone who would avoid confrontation and problems at all costs. he’s absolutely not and becomes even more sure of himself and flamboyant in the face of bigotry and danger. together they are an adorable pair.
i would have like to seen more of the ‘getting to know you’ phase instead of having it glossed over, but this novella still works and is a great, feel-good read.
About the author:
Pat Henshaw, author of the Foothills Pride series, was born in Nebraska but promptly left the cold and snow after college, living at various times in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. Pat has visited Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and regularly travels to Rome, Italy, and Eugene, Oregon, to see family.
Now retired, Pat has taught English composition at the junior college level; written book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helped students find information as a librarian; and promoted PBS television programs.
Pat has raised two incredible daughters who daily amaze everyone with their power and compassion. Pat’s supported by a husband who keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away writing fiction.
Where to find the author:
Book website: http://whatsinanamenovella.blogspot.com
E-mail: [email protected]
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
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