Jared McElroy has come to town to help his Uncle Emmett who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s. While Jared has many ideas on how to improve Emmett’s ranch the cantankerous old goat flat out refuses to allow Jared to change a single thing and argues about everything. Jared’s frustration and need for a little peace lead him to the Honky Tonk where he’s reminded of the Toby Keith song ‘I Love This Bar’. People from every walk of life seem to be present but what really captures his interest is the barmaid – especially when she slips and falls taking him with her.
The Honky Tonk is much more than simply a bar where people hang out sloshing back beer. It’s a place where they can be themselves, dance, play pool, listen to the jukebox and be with friends. To Daisy the bar is home and the people who visit are family. She’s done a good job keeping the relationships on a professional level but then getting all tangled up on the floor with Jared has her mind in the gutter. Chigger, who’s the Honky Tonk’s equivalent of a hooker, befriends Daisy and teaches her that life is full of surprises and sometimes you have to just be yourself – even if that means hiding who you really are from your church going mama.
Jared doesn’t want to get involved with Daisy. He’s already had three failed engagements and isn’t interested in going down that road again but something about Daisy calls to him. He quickly realizes that there’s far more to her than he initially thought and even Uncle Emmett seems happier when she’s around – he’s certainly more agreeable. Daisy isn’t looking for a happily-ever-after. Sex is one thing; a ‘romance’ is something totally different. However, the old goat, in his senile state, has gotten it into his head that Jared and Daisy are married and nothing is going to dissuade him otherwise.
Carolyn Brown kicks off her HONKY TONK series with a boot stomping rousing cast of characters and events that entertain the reader while charming its way into your heart. As you probably already guessed, the title for I LOVE THIS BAR is inspired by country music artist Toby Keith’s rendition song and Ms. Brown does a brilliant job staying true to Mr. Keith’s impression of a bar – including representing people from different walks of life as well as the ‘local flavor.’ What I truly love about this book is while the bar may be nothing more than a place to drink beer to some people, Mrs. Brown allows readers to focus on the more personable aspect of the place as well as the people who spend a lot of time there. I laughed, cried and genuinely fell in love with everything about this book. Now I’m anxiously awaiting the release of the next title in this series, HELL, YEAH (sung by Montgomery Gentry) coming in August 2010. And then there’s the book I absolutely have to have simply because of the title, MY GIVE A DAMN’S BUSTED (sung by Jo Dee Messina), coming in October. And the series finals out with HONKY TONK CHRISTMAS (sung by Alan Jackson) in October 2010. This is churning out to be a highly memorable and fun series! Bravo Ms. Brown!