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Red's Hot Honky-Tonk Bar Paperback – June 23, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pamela Morsi is a bestselling, award-winning novelist who finds humor in everyday life and honor in ordinary people. She lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and daughter.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 355 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Original edition (June 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778327299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778327295
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,131,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paper or Kindle TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you're a Pamela Morsi fan, you won't want to miss this. If you've never read her work before, like me, you'll be pleasantly on the way to becoming a fan. This is a warm and charming book that holds your attention and has you rooting for the troubled protagonists. If you prefer steamy, explicit sex, though, steer clear. This is a character-driven book in a low-key style, with minimal profanity and nothing that you wouldn't want your teenage daughter or elderly mother to see.

The plot is basic: a very young grandmother (46) who hasn't a motherly bone in her body is called upon to care for her grandchildren while her daughter is overseas. The grandchildren are quick to size her up as Abuela Mala (bad grandmother). Red runs a honky-tonk, and lives in a cramped apartment over the bar. Her stud muffin, Cam, who is only slightly older than her daughter, comes to the rescue: he'll swap his house for her flat so the children can live in comfort and have access to good schooling.

The quirks and coils of the characters flesh out the plot. You know the kids will be won over, that the young boyfriend will prevail over his aging girlfriend, and that there will be resolutions to most of the problems that arise. Where Morsi excels is in making sure that there aren't any perfect solutions, and no guarantees of a happily-ever-after. Instead, you see how the people learn to accept the happy-right-now and live with the uncertain future.

The only flaw in this book is that I never quite "got" just what Cam sees in Red. Until close to the end of the story, she isn't warm, is often insulting, doesn't open up, and basically doesn't seem to offer much to the relationship. Cam always has to make the first move, endure the insults, and keep coming back for more. I found that extremely annoying.

Otherwise, it is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and the characters stay with you long after the last page is turned.
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Format: Paperback
"Red" Cullens has everything under control. The 46 year old bar owner loves her little honky-tonk in a forgotten part of San Antonio. The night-life lifestyle suits her; her hot young lover doesn't threaten her freedom and her friends (and patrons) know how to join her in having a good time. But one phone call turns her world upside down. In short order Red has to take custody of her two young grandchildren; her "boy toy", Cam, begins to push for a more permanent role in her life and the future of her beloved bar is threatened by plans to renovate her run down neighborhood.

I loved this story! The characters were written with so much depth that I found myself thinking about them long after I had finished the book. While Red and Cam's relationship is central to the story this book touches on many issues - relationships between parents and children; how people can be defined by "class" and upbringing; the illusion of control that so many of us cling to. Very well done; I would highly recommend this book. One slight caution: While it is obvious that Red and Cam enjoy an enthusiastic sex life it is primarily conducted off page. Some readers might be disappointed by that.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Normally the heroine of a romance story is young--very young. However, in "Red's Hot Honky-Tonk Bar" Red Cullens is forty-something with a grown daughter and two grandchildren. She's far from perfect and doesn't have much contact with them, but she's come to terms with her strengths and weaknesses long ago. Her relationships are brief, putting her heart and soul into her San Antonio bar.

Then...

Red gets a call from the Family Assistance Center to pick up her kids. They'd been staying with their paternal grandmother who had been carrying for Olivia (age 9) and Daniel (age 6) while their mother was in Afghanistan was in the hospital. Their father was unwilling to take them, so Red was it. Problem was, she lived above a bar, worked until the wee hours of the morning, and there was Cam, her live-in boy toy.

The set up of this story drew me in, but my interest soon faded with the relationship between Red and Cam. He was too perfect, too unbelievable. There were parts of the story I did love such as Daniel who used Spanish like a code to talk with his sister and Cam. I loved Red, her background and the fact she was willing to change. Unfortunately, these parts weren't enough to mask the parts I didn't love.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pamela Morsi is a great story teller. If you want to "take a little trip" in someone else's life, I think you will enjoy this book. It's easy to fall in love with Morsi's characters. This story is a little predictable, but in a satisfying way. I read some other Amazon reviews before I bought this book. One reviewer criticized Morsi's development of a particular character, but when you read the book you will understand why that character seemed too good to be true. Suffering has a way of perfecting people. I especially enjoyed how this author developed the story from the children's point of view. I'm putting more from this author in my to-read queue.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
How could anyone not get swept up in a Tall Texas Tale that begins like this: "The sidewalk was full of smokers and spitters. The light from the open doorway was muted, but the sound from inside was not. It was a typical Thursday night of cold beer and live music at Red's Hot Honky-Tonk." ... "Inside, as most nights, Red Cullens herself was at the cash register, totaling up the tabs. Backlit from the lights on the bar, she was an attractive woman. Petite, some would have described her. Only five foot three inches, she stood on a box as she worked to give her a better view of the crowd. It also gave them a better view of her."

Author Pamela Morsi drew me into Red's Hot Honky-Tonk Bar with those words; I just had to know more about Red...and the more I learned, the more I liked her. Red had a rather hard childhood and bad luck with men. Due to family circumstances, life forced her to raise her daughter alone. She doesn't think she was a very good mother, but she pulled herself up by her bootstraps and is proud that she owns her own business. She enjoys her lifestyle and rowdy customers. Due to so many men coming and going in her life, she doesn't trust men and is reluctant to form a serious relationship. Thus she never lets any of them get to know her, ultimately chasing them away.

Her current lover, a musician named Cam, is younger than she is, so she thinks he's around just for the fun and should he decide to leave she could care less...or so she tells herself.

All in all, Red doesn't want anything to change in her life, but she would like a closer relationship with her daughter.
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