Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Salon: Hell, Yeah by Carolyn Brown

Sunday Salon may seem like an odd place to feature a review about a beer joint, but HELL, YEAH by Carolyn Brown is a story about family, friendship, true character, commitment, and finding happiness.

The Honky Tonk has a new owner, a few new faces but it’s still the place to be for country music, a game of pool, dancing with your friends, and falling in love.

Cathy O’Dell’s cousin, Daisy, gave her the Honky Tonk when she up and married Jarod. Cathy’s enjoying being on her own and away from an abusive ex-fiancé. She likes tending bar instead of crunching numbers in an office every day.

Travis Henry is a petroleum engineer who came to Mingus to help his cousin, Angel Avery, find her first oil well. After that, Travis plans to move on to Alaska for his next adventure in oil exploration.

It’s New Year’s Eve when Travis arrives at the Honky Tonk looking for Angel. With the crowd counting down to midnight, Travis plants a kiss on Cathy in the middle of the dance floor because it is, after all, New Year‘s Eve. The sparks that ignite with that kiss grow into a roaring inferno as their paths begin to cross daily.

Cathy won’t let herself feel for Travis. She’s been burned once and that’s enough for her. Travis is a wandering spirit and doesn’t want to be tied to one place or one woman, especially a bartender.

Author Carolyn Brown weaves a tale of the couple’s inner turmoil with such vivid descriptions the reader can’t help but feel their emotions. Throw in a bit of suspense when two shady characters show up, along with a kidnapping and you’re taken on a breathless ride of intrigue.

HELL, YEAH is the second in the Honky Tonk series, but it’s a stand alone book. Readers who haven’t read the first book won’t be left in the dark, but should be intrigued enough to want to know more about Daisy and the start of the Honky Tonk.

While many of the familiar and lovable characters from I LOVE THIS BAR return, there are a number of new faces including Larissa Morley, who has a secret in her past she’s been running from.

Carolyn Brown has created a world that will tug at your heart strings and make you want to take up line dancing all at the same time. There’s sexy cowboys, independent women, references to great old country songs with a storyline that will have you laughing, crying, and saying ‘oh, my!’ as your pulse races and your go weak in the knees.

From the first page I felt I was visiting old friends and making new ones. With the last page things may have slowed a bit at the Honky Tonk but just wait until Tinker opens the doors for the next crowd of patrons and someone drops a quarter in the jukebox to hear their favorite country song.

Author Carolyn Brown’s website is

Hell, Yeah by Carolyn Brown, Sourcebooks Casablanca, @2010, ISBN: 978-1-4022-3927-4, Paperback, 382 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.


  1. Mason - Thanks for this review. I'm glad the second in this series is as good as the first was : ). It sounds like a set of really interesting characters, and I like the idea of also meeting new characters. I think that can keep a series all the more interesting.

  2. It does sound like a good book. I am constantly amazed at the variety of books you review, and the guests you feature.
    Did I tell you this is one of my favourite blogs?

  3. Margot,I know sometimes the second book in a series doesn't hold your interest quite as well as the first did. But this one does. Maybe it the mixing of old and new characters together. I'm looking forward to the third installment later this year.

    Rayna, thank you for your kind words. I'm honored and touched that this is one of your favorite blogs. I just hope I can keep it entertaining.I do so enjoy dropping by your blog. You not only write great post but you have some amazing photos you take.

  4. Your description of the book is irresistible, Mason! I wouldn't ordinarily pick this book up from the shelf, but I'm going to have to go look for it. :)

  5. Elizabeth, the characters in this book (and series) come to life. Carolyn does a wonderful job of putting the reader into the story. It's a fun read and says a lot about friendship and love.

  6. Good title - Hell, Yeah is my answer to a certain question all the time!

  7. I bet my niece would love this series - I'll have to look for it for her.

  8. Alex, in this case I think the title was taken from a Gretchen Wilson song, "Redneck Woman."

    Kathy, it's a good series. I'm looking forward to the third and fourth installments. I'm not sure if there will be anymore after that or not, haven't heard. Hope she enjoys it too.

  9. Sounds like a pretty cool book. Love the title, too.

  10. Sounds like a good read. Catchy title.

  11. Sounds like a book I would enjoy! And a welcome break from some of the things I've been reading. I love a change of pace. Nice review.

  12. I love the sound of this book - lots of fun :)

  13. Marvin, it is a cool book.

    Mary, got to admit, the title is kind of catchy. :)

    Mary, change of pace is always good.

    Laura, it is quite interesting.

    Jemi, the books has some very funny parts in it.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.