Friday, June 18, 2010

I Love This Bar by Carolyn Brown

I LOVE THIS BAR shows a great example of don’t judge a book or a person by what you first see.

Looking at this great book cover some readers might assume it’s all about bars, brawls, and cowboys. Well, there are plenty of sexy cowboys, a couple of minor brawls, and one great bar. What they might not get at first glance is the terrific story of friendship, family ties and true love mixed in with a big dose of laugh-out-loud, down-home humor.

Author Carolyn Brown has captured small town America and reminds readers what it’s like to know your neighbors and be there for each other when times get bad.

The story is about Daisy O’Dell, the owner and bartender of the Honky Tonk in a small Texas town. Daisy has sworn off men after she got away from her abusive ex-almost husband seven years earlier. She found herself at the Honky Tonk under the care of its owner, Ruby Lee. When Ruby died, she left the Honky Tonk to Daisy with a few rules Daisy doesn’t intend to break.

Meanwhile, Jarod McElroy comes to town to help his ailing uncle run his ranch during this final days. Jarod’s been burned three times when proposing so he’s not looking for anyone new.

When Daisy and Jarod literally collide at the Honky Tonk, sparks fly and fires ignite. Daisy reminds herself of Ruby’s rules and Jarod doesn’t want to get mixed up with a bartender from a beer joint. Trying to fight his attraction to Daisy, Jarod begins to learn there so much more to her than he first thought.

Throw in an eclectic group of Honky Tonk patrons - Chigger, a flamboyant hairdresser; the red-headed Walker triplets (Billy Bob, Jim Bob and Joe Bob), one of which constantly proposes to Daisy; and Merle Avery, Ruby’s best friend and pool playing queen of the Honky Tonk; and you’ve got a load of fun. Add in Jarod’s uncle, Emmett, with his mischief interfering and Tinker, the bouncer, and you’ll be longing to visit to the bar for a an evening of country music and a beer from a mason jar.

Author Carolyn Brown paints a wonderful landscape of the countryside with her descriptions. She creates characters you would swear you know or wish you did. She sprinkles in an array of country music songs of both old and new artists that will have you searching for a country music station to hum along with.

I will admit I put this book down with two chapters left and didn’t pick it up for several days. I knew the end was close. Problem was I didn’t want these characters to go away. I wanted to keep reading about them and all their crazy stunts and funny adventures. Ms. Brown had pulled me into Daisy and Jarod’s world and I wasn’t ready to leave.

Then I remembered I LOVE THIS BAR is the first book in the Honky Tonk series. So I finished reading the book and found a few surprises I wasn’t expecting.

Never judge on first sight, first impressions or first meetings. I LOVE THIS BAR shows there’s always more to uncover and you might just be amazed at what you find.

I Love This Bar by Carolyn Brown, Sourcebooks Casablanca, @2010, ISBN: 978-1-4022-3926-7, Paperback, 384 pages

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


  1. This sounds like a very cute storyline. Great review again, Mason.

    My question is, after looking at the cover is, where did all the hairy men go? I'm just wondering.

  2. Thanks for this reminder not to judge a book by its cover. :-)

    - Corra

    the victorian heroine

  3. I probably would have been very surprised that this book had more than cowboys, romance and bar-brawls given the cover but I loved reading your explanation of the story. It sounds really quite interesting.
    Thanks so much for sharing this post and reminding us once again why we shouldn't be judging books by their covers.

  4. Teresa, I'm with you on that one. I've never understand why in all the photos the men never have hair on their chest.

    Corra, thanks for dropping by.

    Cassandrajade, this books is a lot about friendships and what friends will do to help out. Guess I should have went a little more in detail about that, but finding out that was part of the fun to me.

  5. I love it when a book is so good, you hate to see it come to an end. It's almost as though the characters are real. Great review!

  6. Great review, Mason! And a good reminder not to judge a book by its cover. :)

  7. Mason - Thanks for this review. You're absolutely right that the first impression of a book isn't always accurate. I'm glad you enjoyed this novel : ).

  8. I probably would never have picked this book up after looking at the cover but your review gives a much different story than the cover portrays. I'll try not to "judge a book by its cover" in the future.
    Thanks for the review.
    Ann Summerville
    Cozy In Texas

  9. You surely have a talent to stimulate my curiosity!

  10. Joanne, reading this book the characters did come alive to me. I both loved and hated to see the story end.

    Elizabeth, after this I hope I never judge a book (or a person) on first glance again.

    Margot, first impressions do sometimes not tell all we need to know.

    Ann, this story is about so much more than the cover leads you to think. There's a friendship that develops between Daisy and Chigger that is both hilarious and deeply touching. Chigger is another character that is so much more than you first see.

    Laura, thank you. I've never been told that before, but I love it and hope that I do stimulate readers to read books that they might not otherwise try.

  11. Sounds like a wonderful book. I'll look for it. Thanks, Mason. Have a great weekend.

  12. Like the idea of a book so good you don't want it to end. This is the second good reviewn of this book that I've read. I'll be looking for it.

  13. Sounds like a good book. Not really my type of read but I like when you can't judge a book by its cover.


  14. Sounds like a fun read for the summer :) Thanks!

  15. This sounds like a really good book and one I'd enjoy.

    I have a thing about women escaping from abusive men.


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