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.
This is such a sweet, fun, and lighthearted story. I loved Fredi. He has so many layers to him and truly isn’t afraid to be who he is. Love how he stands up for himself and those he cares for. Max is such a sweetheart. He’s shy and reserved by loves wholly and deeply. The two together? Oh my gosh they’re perfect. There are a few teeth achingly sweet parts. But they also deal with adversity and some rampant homophobia from “the good old boys” as Fredi calls them. Beautiful happy ending. My inner redneck loved Max’s truck. I would totally take a ride in it! And the scene where Max tells Fredi how he feels. You just want to hug Max with his awkwardness. Poor guy! Got the bear reference pretty quickly in the story and I cracked up because I knew it was coming. So can’t wait for the next book.
I asked world renowned architect Fredi to join us and give us a list of things he’ll never do again. His list is so perfect. Read and enjoy!
I’m architect and interior designer Fredi Zimmer, and I’ll field this question, okay? Believe me, honey, the list is long and often gruesome of the things I’ll never do again. Let’s start with high school and move forward, shall we? I’ll only hit the highlights here because otherwise it’s TMI, you know what I mean?
- I will never ever try to steal a Ho Ho Cake from a guy I don’t know. How was I supposed to know he was on the basketball team? He wasn’t all that much taller than I was. But he was quick, I’ll give him that. And he sure did love his Ho Ho’s. I would have been better off holding a red cape in front of a bull. Damn, that boy lit into me. Thank God, for lunch monitors and best friends.
- I will never ask a cute guy I don’t know really well to a dance. Corey dressed better than I did, swished more than I did, and then got pissed when I asked him to the Sadie Hawkins Dance. How was I supposed to know he was blowing seniors in the janitor’s bathroom? Talk about somebody who didn’t mind hurting a guy with his “no way!”
- I will never spend an entire paycheck on designer shoes when I need things like food and drink. Going a whole two weeks with pretty feet—that hurt all the time in cuteness that pinches—made me realize the saying, “No gain without pain” was a total crock. I didn’t get anywhere, and my feet hurt like hell. Being cute and young aren’t enough some weeks.
- I will never call a celebrity boss a demanding bitch to his face ever again. Not only did he puff up into Godzilla proportions—and that’s not even mentioning his ego, believe me!—but his entourage closed in on him and turned on me even though every one of those bitches knew I was one hundred percent right. Gotta admit, though, it was fun dishing on him to subsequent bosses. Take that, you fucker!
- I will never mix alcoholic beverages at a swanky get-together ever, ever again. You never know where you’ll end up and with whom. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than waking up with an elephant sitting on your head and a donkey in bed beside you. Even zoos are put together not to mix species like that. Fortunately, the elephant was just imaginary, but unfortunately, the donkey wasn’t. The worst part was I’d given him my cell phone number, so even though I manage to get out of his room without too much hassle, ignoring him forever wasn’t an option. You may have heard the explosion right before the last California earthquake. Ugh.
There it is. A list of life’s little no-no’s. Hindsight not only has a beautiful bubble butt you can’t enjoy, but it’s also an expensive way to get your advanced degree.
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.
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.
Book Website: http://whatsinanamenovella.blogspot.com
Where To Buy:
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6690
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