Title: Relative Best
Series: Foothills Pride 05
Author: Pat Henshaw
Length: Novella (80 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (14 Aug 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: 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.
Review: I have absolutely been loving Pat Henshaw’s Foothill Pride series and Relative Best is a fantastic addition to this wonderful world. While these books can be read as a standalone, I think it would be an injustice not to read the entire series. While the couples we have previously met only briefly pop up every now and again, there really isn’t an overarching plot aside from occasional issues from the narrow-minded town council, Henshaw’s world in Stone Acres, California is worth the money and time.
Relative best follows the story of Zeke Bandy (who we’ve met before on a couple occasions) and Vic (we’ve met one of his adopted relatives before). In fact, Vic is in town to attend his cousin’s wedding, just weeks before he was due to move to Stone Acres in order to set up a satellite company of the financial institute he works for. Zeke has popped up numerous times – he runs the historic, boutique hotel in town which had been previously owned by his father and grandfather, neither of whom had been able to much more than barely keep the hotel afloat. Zeke also performs a couple times a week at the town pub/bar.
When the two men meet the sparks fly straight away. Both guys are strong men but they are simply great together. While they seem to be polar-opposites there are a lot of similarities and although they do not commiserate about their not so stellar families they do support each other. They also, unwittingly, start the next chapter of their lives together. There is also the really sweet aspect of this series which is essentially a book about two guys trying to heal from difficult childhoods.
This is an enjoyable story and a great addition to the series. I found this to be full of emotion and fully relatable.