Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Foothills Pride Story
Sometimes love sneaks up when you’re least looking for it….
Zeke Bandy, owner of Bandy’s Finest Hotel in Old Town Stone Acres, California, is too busy for love. Not only does he oversee the operations of the historic hotel and uphold his family’s tradition of offering refuge to strays and runaways, Zeke also sings and plays down-home music two nights a week at the Stonewall Saloon and for occasional celebrations. Then Zeke meets Victor Longbow, the man of his dreams.
Vic isn’t looking for love either. In fact, because of his upbringing in a strict, white foster family, Vic’s not sure he believes in love. He’s in Stone Acres to open a branch office of a national brokerage firm. He’s also hoping to find a vintage photo of what might be his Native American ancestor.
After their paths cross, they become friends, then more. Connected by their experiences as orphans raised by flawed fathers, Zeke and Vic realize that some men must find love, hone it, and create families for themselves.
Pat Henshaw’s rich and wonderful Foothills Pride series keeps rolling along with this latest edition, Relative Best. And in keeping with the tone of the others, it can certainly be read as a stand alone but having the others as backup knowledge of the town, the history and all the characters you will meet in the town and places work to enrich the story even further. I certainly enjoy seeing them again and again as they pop up in various scenes as does the places they run in town.
But back to the new story at hand.
Relative Best is that romantic story that I have come to expect from Pat Henshaw and the Foothill Pride series. The characters have a somewhat complicated, with perhaps a dark history. The ties to the town goes almost to the bedrock and somewhere history will popup and become part of the tale. All that happens here and with wonderful characters to boot.
Zeke Bandy is the owner of Bandy’s Finest Hotel, a Victorian era lady who’s the center of his life. A ginger-haired singer with a complicated history of his own, Zeke has no love life until he runs into Victor Longbow, a man in search of his past. Victor’s complicated, dark childhood has left him with little need for a love life as he searches for his true ancestors, thinking Bandy’s Finest Hotel might hold the answers.
How Pat Henshaw fleshes these men out and make them believable is terrific, but as I often mention the short length of the story often leaves me wanting to know more about each man’s upbringing as troubled as it was. We get flashes and brief memories, nothing more. That the hotel is used as a halfway house for runaways is another aspect I wish was explored more deeply. Henshaw has so many great plot threads here in Relative Best that the book could easily double in size.
I realize the the impact and message the author wants to carry over is that its not the ancestry that makes the man but what the man makes of himself that matters most and the story conveys that beautifully. The romance between the men works, their connection to each other snaps alive and I so wanted to see what happened to them both after the story ended. I suppose I will have to wait until the next tale in the Foothills Pride series to catch glimpses of Zeke and Vic or maybe Pat Henshaw will carry on their story further. Bandy’s Finest Hotel is full of stories. This can be but the first of many.
I love the Foothills Pride stories and highly recommend not only Relative Best but all of the stories in the series. Pick them up and get started today.
Cover Artist: AngstyG. The cover art does a gorgeous job of relating the old time feel to the contemporary story. Both are important themes and its so well done.
ebook, 80 pages
Expected publication: August 17th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
ISBN 1634775716 (ISBN13: 9781634775717)
Series Foothills Pride
What’s in a Name? (Foothills Pride #1)
Redesigning Max (Foothills Pride, #2)
Behr Facts (Foothills Pride, #3)
When Adam Fell (Foothills Pride, #4)
Relative Best (Foothills Pride, #5)
Foothills Pride Stories, Vol. 1 (Foothills Pride, #1-4)