Hi there! Today I’m reviewing a newly released contemporary M/M romance from Pat Henshaw. BEHR FACTS, is the third book in her Foothill Pride series. This is an odd couple match-up between a burly, overworked construction company owner and the svelte forensic accountant who helps him discover the fraud in his company.
Check out the author fun fact, my review, and enter to win one of three Starbucks gift cards below!
About the book:
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.
Here’s a fun fact from author Pat Henshaw:
Six foot six Behr Construction CEO Abe Behr hires CPA Jeff Mason to help balance the books and find the employee who’s ripping off the company. What big, burly Abe finds is happy, golden Jeff can not only settle the books, but can be the honey Abe needs in his life. Behr Facts, like the previous Foothills Pride stories, is loosely based on a fairytale—this time Goldilocks!
This is the third book in a series that can be fully enjoyed as a standalone.
I will preface this review with a couple misconceptions that I brought with me when I opened the book:
1. I thought it would be sexy. It is a contemporary M/M romance, featuring an out-gay man and an asexual man. This is a romance, but do not expect any sex. Any.
2. I thought it would be a paranormal/shifter story. I mean, Abe Behr (pronounced “Bear”) is a six and half foot tall, grizzly of a man, who is gruff and loves to spend time in his isolated cabin, fishing. He’s inordinately drawn to sweets. Like, he could (and does) eat a whole three-course dessert meal. Abe is a bear, but he is NOT the bear shifter I thought I’d find. (More’s the pity, alas). Disclaimer: My review isn’t based on the the lack of shifterness, however. I’m totally cool with non-paranormal stories.
Okay, so what happens is this: Abe’s been running his family’s construction company since the ripe age of 16 when his no-account, alcoholic dad died of liver disease. He is now 32 y/o, a steadfast family man, very concerned about his two remaining younger brothers, Ben and Connor who work in the company, along with any of a number of uncles, cousins and in-laws. Behr Construction is a profitable company, but the books aren’t lining up with the kind of profit that should exist. Abe hires Jeff Mason, a young, svelte accountant with great recommendations to go over his finances.
Aside: Jeff Mason’s father and Abe’s father did not like each other, and Abe’s father had a particular hate for all the Masons.
Bringing a “Mason” into the Behr lair is tantamount to mutiny, for some of the Behrs, but Jeff does a great, and somewhat convoluted, espionage job with Abe at his side to learn who is scamming the company. It seems that the fraud is a team effort and the worst of the bunch are weeded out.
Being in close proximity with Jeff awakens new feelings within Abe. He’s never had an attraction before, and he’s frustrated to find he’s very much attracted to Jeff. Add to that, their cloistered area of California has a firebrand of a minister that’s rallying the townsfolk against the Gays, who are moving into this area due to skyrocketing prices in San Fran. (Clearly The Gays don’t like Oakland…)
So, Abe is beginning to notice all the anti-gay sentiment and it angers him. He pushes back, hard, against his vendors and sub-contractors who are flying their bigot flag. It’s a rough deal, because he’s trying to come to terms with his own sexuality, and people he’s known his whole life are newly homophobic.
I’m going to say that I’d have liked this story a lot more if there had been a little less frenetic pacing. Abe spends a good bit of time pondering his three issues: dwindling company profits, same-sex attraction, and homophobic townsfolk. The crescendo for these issues came too fast, however. I had little time to savor the results of all the tension. Also, no sex. Abe has a wild night, his first I’m led to believe, and I got nothing. #HugelyDisappointed I love me a virgin hero, and Abe had all the makings of this, based on his asexual history. Like a teen boy busting his first nut, it was all over too quickly to suit me.
I am sure this will appeal to readers who like low-steam romances. Abe is an admirable hero, and Jeff is a doll. There’s a good lesson in there about family and loyalty and being the very best person to do a tough job, too. The characters are interesting and I wanted more of their soft side on the page.
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About the Author:
Pat Henshaw, author of the Foothills Pride Stories, was born and raised in Nebraska and promptly left the cold and snow after college, living at various times in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. Pat enjoys travel, having visited Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and Europe, including a cruise down the Danube.
Now retired, 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.
Her triumphs are raising two incredible daughters who daily amaze her with their power and compassion. Fortunately, her supportive husband keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away while writing fiction.