Title: What’s in a Name
Author Name: Pat Henshaw
Publication Date: January 21
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 Saloon 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.
The story has the feel of a modern-day fairy tale. I don’t normally enjoy the “rescue” type books, but this wasn’t a typical savior-story. Even though it starts with the bartender, who goes by different names throughout, taking care of a drunk and jilted Jimmy, it’s clear Jimmy really doesn’t need a hero. In fact, he has a good life, but he wants someone to share it with who loves and respects him.
I liked both Guy/Stone and Jimmy a lot, and I enjoyed the way their relationship blossomed. Jimmy’s wild guesses about Guy/Stone’s real name were fun, and they fit perfectly with the unfolding of the love between these two delightful men.
This one absolutely gets my highest recommendation. Everything about it was spot-on. I’m looking forward to reading more of Ms. Henshaw’s work.
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.
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.