Review: Hoosier Daddy by Ann McMan and Salem West

“Now tell me more about this agitator, and what on earth possessed you to consort with her.” Oh Grammy!

Hoosier Daddy, A Heartland Romance

Cover Design: TreeHouse Studio


Jill Fryman (Friday to her friends) is a Line Supervisor at a truck manufacturing plant in a small southern Indiana town—and life on the assembly line is almost as predictable as her love life. When it comes to matters of the heart, Friday always seems to be making the wrong choices.

Things go from bad to worse when El, a sultry labor organizer from the UAW, sweeps into town to unionize the plant right after it’s been bought out by a Japanese firm. Sparks fly on and off the line as Jill and El fight their growing attraction for each other against a backdrop of monster trucks, fried catfish dinners, Pork Day USA, and a bar called Hoosier Daddy.4

I could read Hoosier Daddy over and over again and I probably will. Ann McMan and Salem West are an incredible team with a unique language style. The language is beautiful, funny, and heartfelt. I have never lived in the Midwest, but I have lived down South and lordy these words were ringing true in my ears. I was laughing and nodding my head because Hoosier felt like home to me. 

There are usually unique people in a small town and especially in a mill town. I grew up in a city filled with mill workers and you have to be a little bit crazy to stay sane. McMan and West showcase these beautiful attributes through their secondary cast. Everyone from the sleazy manager to the bar dog makes Princeton unique and yet familiar. 

“When I sneeze, it’s a full-body, full-throttle, full-contact sport. When I sneeze, it trips seismographs along the New Madrid Fault. When I sneeze, antelope on the Serengeti make frenzied runs for cover. When I sneeze, my body bucks and recoils like a sawed-off shotgun.”


I sneeze just like this…I started laughing so hard when I read this because it is so true. McMan and West don’t give us cookie cutter characters, but down-to-earth hard working people who hope along the way that they have made the right decisions and maybe love might come calling. McMan and West create a steamy connection between Jill and El. Holy sugar, when their eyes first meet I felt it.

I was tired of living my life like a lemming, with no better sense or prospects for a brighter tomorrow. Enough was enough.” p. 222

I love the journey of self-exploration that Jill ends up on even though it was painful at times. But isn’t self-awareness a bitch sometimes?! I was just as confused as Jill was when facing herself and what she wanted out of life. “Are you running away? Taking chances? Living for yourself? Or is the best decision staying and sticking it out?” 

I had no clue where McMan and West was taking me, but with the way they talk I will follow them anywhere they want to go.

I got this book from my library. I love my local library and you should check out yours too. Request LGBTQ+ books and they will stock them! #ebooksforall

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Further Details:
Publisher: Bywater Books, 978-1612940991, 2 January 2017 (First pub. 1 November 2013)
Narrator: Christine Williams
Series: N/A; Settings: Princeton, Indiana, U.S.
Pages: 286; Sex: PG
Header quote is from p. 33 of Hoosier Daddy.


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