Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Good old boy Ben has dated women his entire life, while gay nightclub owner Mitch has never considered unsophisticated country boys his type. But after they start hanging out, the small-town contractor and the urban entrepreneur are both stunned by the electricity sparking between them.
As they step outside their comfort zones to spend time together, Mitch finds he enjoys rural car rallies, and Ben is intrigued by the upscale bars Mitch owns in San Francisco. When they share their lives and grow closer, they start to question the way they’ve always defined themselves. Then they kiss and fling open the door to love. Now they must step up and travel the road that may lead to happily ever after—even if that path isn’t one they ever expected to walk.
Waking the Behr is another cute story in The Foothills Pride series by Pat Henshaw. Mitch O’Shea and Ben Behr meet at the remains of Thompson’s old steakhouse, a building Mitch has just bought and wants Ben’s (of Behr Construction) help to transform into a new family friendly restaurant. They make an instant connection that Henshaw brings alive in one great scene:
So I was surprised when I opened the door to the gutted restaurant and found a giant of a man twirling Julie Andrews’style. He was grinning like a loon as the light poured over him.
That should have been laughable since he was alone, but he was kickass savoring the moment. Instead of appearing loco, he struck me as a big overgrown Peter Pan. He looked so happy, I had an urge to join him, which gave me a moment of panic because I’m not an old boy who does much dancing or cavorting–in public or in private.
“Uh, hello? Mr. O?Shea?”
When he turned toward me, my jaw dropped. I’m sure I musta looked like the village idiot.
That’s Ben’s first look at Mitch and vice versa. Boom! Connection made.
From there, Pat Henshaw treats her readers to a friends to lovers story that I just adored. Along the way, Ben figures out that yes, he’s attracted to men too which means that Ben is probably bisexual. There was a whole momentarily “damn am I turning gay?” which made me wonder what century he was in, especially since he had gay brothers he’s fond of and talks to often as he works with them. Luckily the rest of the story redeemed that totally awkward and awful aspect (but yes, it pulled down the ratings). I mean really Ben is in a town that’s increasingly LGBTQ friendly and he thinks it rubs off like Shea butter? Smh!
There is no instant love here. The timeline gets moved forward scene by scene so it’s clear that the men have moved into a friendship, gone camping, and spent considerable time together before falling in love which I liked.
Both characters come across as intelligent, warm hearted and loving. I enjoyed their dance towards romance and a HEA. I also love that we get to see other characters from previous stories play minor roles here. It’s nice to see them again.
At 88 pages, this is a quick read (as are all the stories). I’ve given up hoping to see longer versions here. But it’s such a nice series that even the short romances are a great way to spend some time. I recommend them to those who love to read contemporary romances.
Cover Artist: AngstyG. I really like the covers for this series and this one specifically. Great job.