Monday, July 26, 2010

Carolyn Brown’s latest is one to love

 I Love This Bar
Carolyn Brown
Review copy provided by Sourcebooks.
Cover Art credit: RandeeLadden/Nevil Elder/Corbis; Sophielouise/

In Carolyn Brown’s latest contemporary romance release from Sourcebooks, I Love This Bar, she sets the stage in a small bar in Texas. The bar, known as the Honky Tonk, is run by a young woman named Daisy O’Dell who has nothing else on her mind than catering to her boisterous and quirky patrons. Then she trips into a newcomer named Jarod McElroy, and her whole, well-ordered world is set on its ear. While they are immediately attracted to each other, Daisy doesn’t want to get involved with anyone, content on running the Honky Tonk, and keeping her life as is. Jarod on the other hand, has come down to Texas to care for his ailing Uncle Emmett, who is suffering the effects of what may or may not be Alzheimer’s Disease (or just plain old age orneriness), and has really no time for any sort of relationship.

All that aside, Daisy and Jarod can’t keep their minds strictly on their own personal visions of the future. No, all they can think about is each other and that tangle they got into on the floor of the Honky Tonk. Daisy’s friends Chigger (yes, like the bug) and Daisy's cousin Cathy, and even Jarod’s nosy, ornery Uncle Emmett, aren’t any help, as they keep doing everything they can to play Cupid. When it succeeds, Daisy and Jarod aren’t really complaining—a fling’s not a bad thing, after all, is it? When Daisy really starts musing on things (the possibility of picking up her whole life and moving to Jarod’s hometown in Oklahoma, leaving the Honky Tonk to the whims of the badgering Billy Bob and his twin brothers) and when Jarod’s family find out about his affair with a *gulp* bar maid, things could get ugly.

All in all, I Love This Bar is a cute, quick read—think Urban Cowboy meets Cheers, and you get the idea. Though I’m sure some astute students of the genre might nitpick on her style, the story was, this reviewer thought, quite enjoyable (and I thank the folks at Sourcebooks for allowing me my review copy). Carolyn Brown peppers it all with the charm of the south, hot cowboys for you romance lovers to drool over, and plenty of atmosphere—and music. Lots and lots of country music references. So if you love all of the above, or even just a good contemporary that will leave you smiling, and looking forward to the sequel being released next month, this is the book for you. And if you’d like it, you can get a copy at your favorite local bookstore, or online at Amazon, or

my score for this one? Given all the elements that made me love this one, despite the few technical things I noticed in it (that I don't think a non-aspiring writer would notice), despite not being hip to a few of the songs Ms. Brown referenced throughout the book, I did love it. So, I have to give it five pearls. :)

If indeed you do decide to check it out, I hope y'all will love this cute little novel too. Enjoy!
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