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Hearts On Fire Reviews

We read and review for the love and joy of books.

Pat Henshaw – Redesigning Max

Redesigning Max (Foothills Pride Stories) - Pat Henshaw

Reviewer: Lucy

Genre: MM Contemporary

3.75 Hearts


Review: Max is a rich man who owns a dilapidated cabin in the woods which he wants redesigned to make it his. He is recommended to use the servies 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 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 and once he gets past that, he absolutely “Don’t want to talk about the bedroom…No questions.” That was strange to me. There is more to Max, as well. He isn’t the spoiled rich 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.”

The two make a sort of truce about the design and they also start to become more to each other. 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. It was a nice touch to see how much of the community didn’t tolerate that behavior.

I admit, 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. But these aside, I liked the story very much. Unfortunately, the homophobia seemed real and Fredi’s history of being a victim of 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 – I felt they deserved it. I’m looking forward to the next installment in the Foothills Pride series.