Baby, It's Cold Outside
As contrived as the set-up for Baby It’s Cold Outside is, the book is surprisingly good. I read it quickly, and I found it hard to put down. It’s like the winter equivalent of a beach read: Fun, romantic, and light without being totally brainless.
Socialite Sloan McKinley is an old maid at 33, her wealthy New York family despairing of her ever finding a husband, and she’s sick of it. When her best friend needs her support while sorting out her father’s estate in Alaska, Sloan decides to go. Her friend is in the middle of a bitter will dispute with her previously unknown half-sister, whose side the entire town has taken. Sloan launches a PR campaign for her friend, targeted at the small town citizens of Indigo, Alaska.
What she doesn’t realize is that she stumbled upon the town just before the annual Bachelor Competition, a scheme cooked up by three interfering grandmothers meant to bring eligible ladies to the town in hopes of marrying off their grandsons. One of these grandsons is Walker Montgomery, who happens to be Sloan’s friend’s lawyer.
Yes, the Bachelor Competition is a bit silly, and if you hate books with small-town antics like that, you probably won’t like this one. However, I was able to roll my eyes and get past it, and I’m glad I did. Sloan and Walker are both well-drawn characters, with enough dimensions to them that they stand out from the somewhat flat set-up. I liked them together a lot. They argue and sometimes speak before thinking, but they can also apologize and reconsider, which is something I appreciated.
There is a great cast of secondary characters as well, some of whom are future protagonists in this new Alaskan Nights series. Sloan’s friends each have their future heroes in Walker’s fellow bachelor grandsons, and each potential couple has scenes that set up their respective plotlines. Sloan’s trio of friends had a true friendship I appreciated. Yes, there are a lot of discussions about orgasms over glasses of wine, but their friendship goes beyond the superficial, and there are some great moments between them.
The book is funny without being silly, and light without being fluffy. Addison Fox is a good storyteller and a fun writer, and I’m looking forward to the next few books in the series.