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How steamy is it? Simmering

Publisher's Summary

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.

©2015 Pat Henshaw (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Much better than book 1 & I really enjoyed it.

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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

not quite as good as book one

Any additional comments?

Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the AUDIO version of this book.

Max needs helps remodeling his cabin. It's just brown and shades there of. Fredi takes up the challenge. And they both get more than they bargained for.

This is book two in the Foothills Pride series and you don't need to have read/listened to book one, What's In A Name for this one to make sense. I have and I loved that one, it was just too stinking cute!

But this one didn't quite hit that mark and I don't know why!

It is, again, told in the 1st person, single point for view, and it's Fredi who gets a say/
I also think it's because Max didn't have a say. And Max really needed a say, he makes such life changing decisions here. I needed to know why he approached Fredi, to know why he came out as he did. I just NEEDED Max, and we don't get him.

Again, totally clean, but I'm not missing it! However, the bigots in the Foothills are getting restless and they turn deadly here.

Still, a great little short, 98 pages, hence the hangover tag.

David Ross again narrates.

While enjoying listening to this for the most part, Fredi's voice grated on my nerves. I've no idea why, I guess some voices just do.

David Ross' voices for Jimmy and Guy are consistent from their book, and I had no problem defining who was speaking in multi person conversations.

Ross' reading voice is clear and even, and apart from Fredi's voice, I liked how he portrayed Fredi and Max.

Just shy of 3 hours listening time.

4 stars for the story (because we don't get Max)
4 stars for the narration (because of Fredi's voice)

so, 4 stars overall.

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Low steam, sweet

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cat
  • Missouri
  • 01-05-17

A good opposites attract romance

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Freddy I like his flamboyancy and I loved the name of the knife in his pocket. Boner.

Have you listened to any of David Ross’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't think I have. I loved His performance. He brought both characters to life.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes the end but I can't say why because of spoilers
I did like the surprises of Max living in the house that Freddy one awards for designing.

Any additional comments?

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.