Book Review – Redesigning Max by Pat Henshaw

Foothills Pride #2
Publisher: JMS Books
Pages: 87
Characters: Fredi/Max
POV: 1st
Genre: Contemporary, Series

Renowned interior designer Fredi Zimmer is surprised when outdoorsman Max Greene, owner of Greene’s Outdoors, hires him to revamp Max’s 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 to Fredi, Max is a typical straight man’s man.

When Max blatantly and clumsily flirts with Fredi, Fredi’s stereotypical view of Max is shattered. Is this a build-up to a gay bashing? Cautiously believing Max is closeted and is trying to come out, Fredi decides he’s game to put a little spice into Max’s life, whether it’s in the colors and fixtures he’ll use to turn Max’s dilapidated cabin into a showplace or over one of the many lunches and dinners they share talking about the remodel. Who can blame a guy for adding a little sensual pleasure as he retools Max’s life visually? Besides, Fredi has a backup plan if he’s wrong about Max’s intentions.

Life would be all wine and roses if it weren’t for Max’s former friends and their conservative families. Alarmed with Max’s obvious infatuation, they make it their business to save him from sliding into hell.

With the battle on, will Fredi and Max win the fight for a life of happiness together?

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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.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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2 Responses to Book Review – Redesigning Max by Pat Henshaw

  1. phenshaw says:

    Thank you, Anne, for such a heart-warming review.


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