What’s in a Name by Pat Henshaw

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what nameBlurb

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.


Jimmy is having a terrible birthday! His boyfriend was supposed to take him on a romantic date in San Francisco and instead picks up a stranger and ditches Jimmy at the bar, leaving him all alone. Jimmy drowns his sorrow in beer but luckily the bartender, Alex2/Guy/Stone is there to help when things get messy.

“Stone” aka Guy, aka Alex2 has been keeping an eye on Jimmy for awhile now and swoops in to help when Jimmy’s worthless boyfriend ditches him at his bar. Stone won’t tell Jimmy (or anyone) his real name because it’s so awful. Instead he makes Jimmy a deal that if Jimmy can guess his real name he’ll buy him the motorcycle he’s been after for his birthday.

Jimmy and Stone get along right from the start. Stone helps Jimmy to get free from the ex-boyfriend, gives Jimmy a place to crash when needed, helps Jimmy with his new coffee-shop plans and is generally an amazing boyfriend – right from the start.

Jimmy can’t believe his good fortune and realizes that in all the months he’s been going to the one gay bar in town, he’s actually spent more time talking with the bartender than his (now ex) boyfriend.

This is a fast story with very little angst and no on page sex. Some people are going to find fault with it for those reasons. But… it’s a tremendously sweet story with a lot of heart and lots of ooey gooey feels that just made me smile. Sure, the ex boyfriend was a bit too psycho. Sure, I’d have liked to see the relationship take more than a week but as is pointed out in the story – they’ve known each other for months already. Sure, I wish there was some sex in the story, but the chemistry is there and the two clearly love each other.

Overall, I really enjoyed this short story and recommend it to anyone willing to suspend their disbelief and smile at a sweet tale of love.

4 of 5 hearts