Foothills Pride series, Book 3
Big, burly CEO Abe Behr is furious to discover someone—probably a relative—is embezzling from Behr Construction, a family-run business in the Sierra Nevada foothills outside Lake Tahoe.
To confirm his suspicions, Abe takes the unprecedented step of hiring a non-family accountant, handsome Jeff Mason, to go over the books and help find the culprit. As they talk to Behr relatives and visit construction sites, Abe and Jeff are drawn to each other, bringing out new, softer emotions in workaholic Abe.
Since he has sacrificed romance all his life to build the construction business, Abe’s surprised by his feelings for the handsome Jeff. He’s even more shocked when they come face to face with homophobia in the small foothills community where generations of Behrs have called home. Abe had always thought Stone Acres was a live-and-let-live kind of town.
As he and Jeff get closer, he finds out how wrong he is when he comes out to both family and a community who think he’s making a big mistake. Will being the head of a large, powerful family and a pillar of the community be enough to win Abe his happily ever after with Jeff?
Rainbow Award Honorable Mention book.
- 4 To Be Read lists
- 6 Read lists
Publisher: JMS Books, LLC
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: (Hits) Close to Home, Coming Out / Closeted, Families/Raising Kids, Find Love and Come Out, First Time, Opposites Attract
Word Count: 30,048
Setting: Stone Acres, California, USA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Abe and Jeff are having dinner at a café:
“You ever come up the bank to sit under my tree? Looks like a much more comfortable place to fish. Not as rocky at any rate.” Jeff took a drink of his beer as I again scrambled to keep up. “My dad called it the Fishing Tree. He seemed to think fish congregated off the shore there.”
We sat in silence. It was my turn to talk. I’m pretty good in business situations. Not so much in social ones. At social events, mostly I hold up walls. Shake hands. Grunt a lot. Let others carry the conversational load.
Lorraine set our meals in front of us. The full burger with everything for him. The grilled mountain trout and steamed vegetables for me.
“You do a lot of fishing?” I managed after a long silence.READ MORE
“Not really.” He gave a self-deprecating laugh. “My dad said fishing couldn’t be taught. He said it was something intuitive. I never had any idea what I was doing. So I never saw any use in fishing. I never saw any fish either.”
Again, silence as I processed and caught up. “It’s not rocket science. You figure out what kind of fish you want. Where it lives. Lure it to you. Then catch it.”
He looked skeptical and almost self-conscious. “It can’t be so easy,” he said with a little laugh.
“What about the different rods, lures, tackle, stuff?” He looked so serious, as if I were missing the point. As if I didn’t understand. He was right. I didn’t.
“Look. You can catch fish with your bare hands. If you want to. The extra stuff is just extra stuff.”
“If you say so.” He shook his head, a smile still on his lips. “Have you ever caught a fish with your bare hands?”
I lifted my hands and looked down at the mess that were my paws. Calluses, nicks, cuts, punctures, blunt fingers, the bandage now off the one with the splinter. These were the hands of a man who’d framed houses as a tall, rangy preteen and had lived in construction ever since. Could I catch a fish with my bare hands?
“Yeah. All it takes is absolute stillness and patience.” I sighed. “Not a whole lot of people have both together. Somebody once told me it’s all about Zen.” Somebody else said the only reason I could do it was because I was too stupid to know it was impossible.
“Zen.” His tone said he was surprised I knew such a word.
“You know, like the Eastern religion,” I answered. “Though why we still call it Eastern is beyond me. It’s really Far West, not Far East to us.” I was grumbling and rambling. Avoiding for some reason.
He rattled me. Nobody ever rattled me. I’m Abe Behr, the big Behr.
He was studying me as intently as I was him. He appeared too beautiful, too perfect, too unscarred. I just hoped his accountant skills were as perfect as he looked.
“What kind of fish you want to catch?” I asked. Staring at him wasted our time.
He pointed his fork to my plate. “How about that? It’s good, right?”
“Trout,” I agreed. “Lots of different kinds of trout.”
He looked like he’d never eaten any in his life.
“This is trout from our lake. Have a bite.”
He’d finished his burger but didn’t make a move on my fish. His expression was split between wanting to dig in and reluctance to do so.
“Just taste it,” I growled. “It won’t bite.”
His eyes snapped up to meet mine. His puzzled stare asked if the stupid bear had deliberately made a joke or not. Then he gave a happy, hearty laugh, and his fork raided my fish.
“So? What do you think?” I asked after he swallowed.
“I think you made a great joke,” he said with twinkling eyes. “And the trout is delicious. Is this why you threw your catch back? Did you know you’d get it cooked perfectly here at the cafe?”
“Naw. I was stalking the pie. Fish was a bonus.”
“They have good pie here?”
“Wait and see.”COLLAPSE
Multitaskingmomma on Multitasking Mamas wrote:
Big, burly CEO Abe Behr is dismayed to discover someone—possibly a family member—is stealing from Behr Construction, which primarily employs Behr relatives. Abe takes the unprecedented step of hiring an outsider, likeable CPA Jeff Mason, to go over the books and help find the culprit. They are drawn to each other as they talk to workers, including Abe’s two younger brothers and their shifty cousin.
Since he has sacrificed romance all his life to build the business, Abe’s surprised by his feelings for the handsome Jeff. He’s even more shocked when they are confronted by bigotry in the Sierra Nevada foothills community, which is being inundated by gays moving from the San Francisco area. As he and Jeff get closer, Abe must come to grips with coming out to a family and community that aren’t very tolerant. Fortunately, being the head Behr helps him find his footing and grab onto love when it bites him.
Pat Henshaw takes us back to her Foothills couples and increasingly integrated community with her latest release, Behr Facts. With Behr Facts (Foothills Pride #3) by Pat Henshaw, another terrific story, this marvelous series just added another wonderful layer of depth, community and love. All in 92 pages.
Pat Henshaw took the fact of gay flight during the recession from the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento into the Sierra Foothills and created this series. As noted in the author’s forward that’s how FLAG (Foothills Lesbians and Gays) was formed. As with any influx of newcomers into a old established and conservative community, integration does not always go smoothly. And each book has dealt with not only a couple finding their way to each other and their place in the new FLAG community being established but the reactions, both good and bad from those already in place.
Each story has also served as an introduction to the next couple and story in the series so in Redesigning Max (Foothills Pride, #2), we got our first glimpse of Abe Behr, CEO of Behr Construction, a family owned business having its own problems as well as CPA Jeff Mason. The second story gave us just enough of a taste that we knew we had to know more…of Abe and Jeff. What Pat delivered was touching, wonderful, moving and felt so right that 92 pages just wasn’t enough.
The characters of Abe and Jeff were just so right, Henshaw gave them just the normal amount of flaws, human imperfections and endearing traits that you just loved these men, together and apart. Abe who has pushed his sexuality into the closet to be what he thought the family needed him to be. Henshaw was able to convey the quiet pain that Abe carried with him at all times making us hurt for him. She also managed to show the layers to Jeff without lengthy descriptions. We wanted this couple to succeed from the very beginning.
Their romance? Ah, that was conducted with a warmth, and affection and so much heart that I wanted to be sitting under that tree with them, listening to their conversations, watching them grow close together. How did the author manage to make that happen in such a short time and still let it feel so real?
The drama that swirled around Abe, his extended family and the financial disaster in the making at the construction company also felt authentic and believable. I just wish the author had given herself and the couple more time to work things through as throughly as you would expect Abe and Jeff to be in their business affairs. The backlash and the hate? Unfortunately, that was all too real as well.
Had this been a longer story, a little more filled out, than this might have been close to perfect rating. As it is, I loved this story. The series too and I can’ t wait for more. The Foothills Pride series is a gem and should be on all lovers of contemporary romance. I highly recommend this and all the stories in the series.
Cover artist Angsty G did a wonderful job with this cover. I think it conveys the characters perfectly.
on Bike Book Reviews:
This is a bear story. Not the shape-shifter kind. This is about Abe Behr who gave up everything personal to guarantee his family's success. Family includes the extended and not so thankful kind. He is the man to go to for a job, the man to ask money from in time of need, the man to steal from in time of...
Abe is finally done with all of that. He either gets everything into shape once more and family be damned or loose everything he worked hard for all these years. He needs a little help and it is from someone who his family does not approve of because of some forgotten reason (well, it's not forgotten but it should be).
Jeff Mason was recommended by a friend when Abe asked for someone good who could help him get his financial status in shape. Finding the thief or thieves would help. Jeff more than lives up to his job, he lives up as the friend Abe soon relies on.
Their romance does not happen. At least, Abe thinks it does not. Jeff hopes it's happening... Abe just has to get his head out of the ground and begin seeing what life is offering him. When he finally does, Abe realizes how much he had been missing out.
Are there fireworks? No. Is there thunder and lightning? No.
What we read is a slow-to-realization love affair that the quiet Abe finally sees as his future. Just like any good businessman, he quietly analyzes and decide. Thankfully, he does it in a manner that is typically Abe and we get to smile through his whole process of discovery.
This is good and romantic. There is none of the flash, boom, bang we usually get but it still leaves us with a sense of satisfaction. Recommended for those who love sweet stories between a bear and a hunk.
I was so glad this book was about Abe, though we didn't see him much in book 2, it was enough to know that the big "Behr" had a story to tell, and boy does he!
Abe Behr is head of his family Construction Company and boy is it becoming a headache! The Company books are way off and Abe needs to find out why, he got a few recommendations for an accountant, and they all were for the same person, Jeff Mason.
Abe gets flak from his family for bringing in an outsider, nevermind a Mason to look into the company finances, could it be because the two families don't get along, or does someone have something to hide?
I love the attraction between Abe and Jeff, can they act on it, or will family troubles and deceit stand in the way of these two finding happiness?
Oh man this book is great, you just have to read it, and though it can be a standalone, you don't want to miss the other two books in this series! Thanks Pat, for a third in a series that is as much of a delight as the rest!