Downhome Darlin’ takes place in a very small town in Colorado. When Abby Stanton’s fiancé dumps her, claiming she’s too dull and uninspiring to marry, Abby decides to become a Wild Woman, at least for one night. Overly made-up, with big hair and dressed to kill, Abby goes bar-hopping with her two sisters in the hopes she can shed her apparently unacceptable everyday personality and step out of herself for a while.
New-in-town Cal Ketchum happens to be in the bar that night. Because he’s the handsomest man in the place (and perhaps in all of Colorado), Abby cannot help but notice him. They meet when Cal passes Abby’s table, and on a dare from her sisters, she reaches out and squeezes his jean-clad buns as he goes by. Did I mention that Abby had been drinking? A lot? Well, after her totally-out-of-character move on Cal, Abby downs a few more drinks and gets so snockered that nice-guy Cal ends up taking her home. His home. Abby’s too out of it to tell him where she lives.
Cal is so nice he lets Abby sleep it off in his bed – alone. Though her hair’s a mess and her garish make-up has streaked and caked and smeared, Cal somehow manages to see the real Abby and he likes what he sees. Cal has had nothing but wild women in his life, and he’s ready for a change.
Downhome Darlin’ is a nice little story of two attractive people who have real trouble in accepting who they are. Cal and Abby are drawn to each other but each have reasons for being wary of commitment. If you’re looking for a simple story with likable characters and a bit of sizzle, this one will do you fine.
The only real problem I had with this story was the author’s choice of dialogue for Cal. He’s a smart guy, well-educated, but each and every sentence has him speakin’ with his country accent in an unrelentin’ and irritatin’ way. A couple of these contractions sprinkled throughout the story would have kept Cal in character, but so much of it detracted from the story’s readability and made Cal sound dumb. Because it went on throughout the entire story, it became so noticeable I was grittin’ my teeth and wishin’ just once Cal could say somethin’ normal-like.
There’s humor and sexual tension and a very nice love scene or two. Nothing (or should I say nothin’) earth-shatterin’ happens, but I can recommend this as a agreeable little read with characters you’ll enjoy.