Eloreen reviews What’s in a name? (Foothills Pride Stories 1) by Pat Henshaw. Published by Dreamspinner Press on January 21st, 2015 and is 90 pages long.
This book was provided free of charge by the author for an honest review.
Why I read: I chose this book from our review backlist during our New-To-Me Author week. I liked the cover and was intrigued by the blurb about someone who hides his name. It was short, and I could read it quickly for a review this week.
A Foothills Pride Story, Book 1
Barista Jimmy Patterson thinks it’s a good idea to get rip-roaring drunk on his birthday after he’s dumped by his boyfriend. When the burly owner of Stonewall’s Bar rescues Jimmy, the night starts to look up.
Now Jimmy just wants to know the bartender’s first name since he’s worn a different name tag every time Jimmy’s seen him. “Guy” Stone gives Jimmy seven guesses, one for each night he takes Jimmy out on a date.
While Jimmy’s trying to come up with his name, he’s distracted by the destruction of his coffee shop and what looks more and more like a hate crime.
“Okay. How’s this for a deal?” He put down his knife and fork and leaned into the table, stabbing me with his eyes. “I’ll give you a week to guess my name. Seven chances. Every day you can ask a few questions, then come up with what you think my name is. If you’re right, I’ll buy the best bike for you and teach you how to ride it.”
“And if I’m wrong?”
“You owe me a kiss.” He leaned back in satisfaction.
“A kiss? One measly kiss?”
“Oh, I don’t want the measly ones. I mean a real, God of Love kiss. Something to set my ass back a couple a notches.”
Now I really laughed. Right. Me, giving him a humdinger of a kiss? Right. Who were we kidding? Oh, well. Didn’t matter because I was going to accept his challenge.
Stonewall [Saloon] was chaos when I got there. Guy and another bartender were mixing drinks as fast as they could. I squeezed in at the end of the bar near the hatchway and sat on an abandoned stool there.
I didn’t think Guy had seen me come in, so when there was a lull in the frenetic pace and he was nearly within arm’s reach, I called out, “What’s a guy gotta do to get a drink in this place?”
Guy looked up, grinned at me, and yelled back, “Fuck the bartender.”
A slim man sitting next to me perked up, gave Guy the once-over, and yelled, “Okay!”
Guy’s startled gaze met mine, and we broke out laughing.
The man next to me sighed and slumped over his beer. “I knew it was too good to be true,” he mumbled.
I patted him on the shoulder.
“Maybe next time,” I commiserated with him.
“Right,” he answered glumly.
. . .
I sat on my stool, waiting to see what we were doing after he shut down the place.
The guy next to me was looking at me funny when I sat down.
“So how’d you get to know Tom?” he asked.
It took me a minute to figure out who he was talking about. Tom? Did I know a Tom? Then I had to laugh. Guy was Tom tonight. Right.
“Uh, I came in here one night, was dumped by my boyfriend, and Tom threatened to kill me.” I looked at the guy, who was gaping at me. “It was my birthday.”
“Shit, man,” he stuttered. “He looks big and mean, but to threaten to kill you.”
By this time “Tom” had walked up to us.
“Only because he asked me my name,” he growled.
The guy’s eyes got even bigger.
“But it’s right there,” he pointed. “On your name tag.”
“Yeah, but some guys are a little slow,” Guy answered. “So I just took him home and fucked him raw.”
The guy gulped as I stifled my laughter.
“Well,” I answered when I could without hooting, “it was my birthday.”
Guy and I looked at each other and howled.
When he stopped laughing, Guy leaned over to the man next to me.
“Last call,” he said softly. “Get you anything else?”
“A fuck?” the guy asked, equally soft.
“Sorry, not a chance.” Guy clapped the man on the arm and squeezed.
“Then, no,” the guy whispered, “I’m good.”
As the customer walked, slump-shouldered and sad, out of the bar, Guy leaned in to me.
“Nice guy,” he said. “Maybe I shoulda fucked him.”
He looked at me, and I looked at him. We both smiled.
For a short read, it was packed with humor, sadness, some angst, and a building of love in only 90 pages. I loved it. In fact, I wanted it to be longer and that was really the only draw back. 🙂
It was pretty seamless from start to finish as we follow Jimmy Patterson starting right after an ended relationship as he’s getting drunk in “Guy” Stone’s bar, Stonewall. I was amused with the different names and thoughtful between Jimmy’s “unusual” name and ultimately “Guy’s” real name. I think I smiled for at least a few hours after that reveal.
It’s quirky, exciting, adventurous, mysterious, loving and lovely to watch these men fall in love. There were a few parts were I cried, where I laughed, and as I said before, smiled at the name reveals. I did catch on to “Guy’s” name about 3/4 of the way through as the hints were beautifully done. You do have to pay attention as I almost didn’t catch it, but they are there to find. So, I was triumphant I was right. The resolution to Jimmy’s store getting trashed did surprise me a little but that was because I was focused on the name thing. But looking back, I could probably see the hints if I had thought about them. They are subtle though. I like subtle. So, thank you Pat for a great story, and I look forward to reading the rest of the Foothills Pride Stories and anything else I can find.
I give What’s in a Name? 9.5 pots of gold out of 10. The equivalent of 4.5/5 scale.
9.5/10 Pots of Gold
Born in the Heartland of Nebraska, Pat Henshaw has made America hers by living in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. She has found joy in visiting Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and relishes trips to Rome, Italy, and Eugene, Oregon, to see family.
Pat has spent her life surrounded by words: Teaching English composition at the junior college level; writing book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helping students find information as a librarian; and promoting PBS television programs.
Two of her fondest memories are touching time when she put her hands on the pyramids and experiencing pure whimsy when she interviewed Caroll Spinney (Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch). Her triumphs are raising two incredible daughters who daily amaze her with their power and compassion. Her supportive husband keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away writing fiction.