Summary from LitFuse Publicity: Dottie Morgan has no desire to share her home - or her heart - over Christmas. After all, her Christmas spirit froze over when Dottie lost her son in World War II. But when a blizzard of the decade traps Dottie in her home with four near strangers, she just might discover that opening her door just might open her heart a Christmas miracle...and a new reason celebrate Christmas.
Yes, if you read this book you are going to have the title song stuck in your head pretty much the entire time you read it and long afterwards. Interestingly even though the song has been around for a long time, I only first discovered it after the movie Elf came out. I personally seem to have different connotations of the song than most people but I will admit that it is catchy and you can't get it out of your head.
It's just like this story. Even though Susan May Warren is a favorite author of mine, lately I've been a little lukewarm towards her books. They just didn't have the zing I had grown to love. This one however brought it all back. I had a great time reading this story. Even though I obviously did not live during the time period of the book, I felt a great sense of nostalgia in the story. It's a total comfort read.
The main four characters in this book would have rather avoided each other but due to the snowstorm are forced to be together. I could totally see this playing out as a movie. You have all these relationships - Dottie and Violet, Violet and Jake, Jake and Gordie and Gordie and Violet - that play out throughout the course of the book. Secrets are revealed, trust is tested and realizations are made. I felt that some of the characters grew throughout the story and others we were able to get to know better. The romance in this story is realistic and bittersweet.
The only part of the book that I found a bit out of place was Arnie. I kind of felt he was totally out of place. He only comes into the story halfway through and except for the scare when they find him, most of the other characters kind of ignore him. He doesn't really add too much to the story other than softening Dottie's heart a little. Also the scenes with his imagination, while cute, I wanted to skim over. I also wanted to wallop Violet's mom on the head for her constant dismissal at not being girly enough. I know it's due to the time period but it just made me groan and feel sorry for Violet.
Other than those tidbits, this was a really enjoyable read. It definitely got me in the mood for Christmas. I loved the historical aspect of the story. It was nostalgic but not cheesy or making it seem too perfect. The characters are flawed but they have good hearts. If you're looking for a book to get in the holiday mood or just a cozy book to read near the fireplace, this is the story for you.
Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren is published by Summerside Press (2011)
This review copy was provided for a blog tour with LitFuse Publicity