Oh, the Weather Outside Is Frightful (Extended edition!): a Montana Fire Christmas Novella Kindle Edition
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|Length: 178 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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This is perhaps my favorite Susan May Warren novella so far. It reunites Hannah Butcher, a minor character from the Montana Fire novellas, with CJ St. John of the Noble Legacy novels, another great series from Susie May's past. Both characters are well-developed and delightfully human. What I love about both CJ and Hannah though, is that they each see what the other needs to move forward, succeed, and become the person God created him or her to be. CJ sees the courage Hannah doesn't think she has, while Hannah teaches CJ that his life matters even if he's not riding bucking bulls or jumping out of planes. This leads to a beautiful, touching emotional and spiritual arc that carries this novella well and could've easily carried a whole novel.
CJ and Hannah kept my sympathy, but also my empathy, which is much more important. I identified with CJ's desires in particular. God is still long-sufferingly trying to teach me some of the lessons He teaches CJ, but I hope to get better at retaining them. Hannah, meanwhile, is the kind of heroine I'd like to be written as if someone put me in a book. She's not "one of the guys" in the traditional sense. She possesses the perfect mixture of tender heart and grit. She's intelligent, and always willing to put others first even at the risk of her safety.
Speaking of risk...whew, Susie has gotten good at that. This time, our main characters get stranded in a blizzard on the way to mutual friends' wedding ceremony. The ensuing events turn on a popular trope of what can bring two people together in disaster. But the way our protagonists handle it, plus what they learn, is unique and authentically Susan May Warren. Her voice remains strong throughout each chapter.
As other reviewers have noted, I loved being reunited with the Noble Legacy gang and other familiar characters. Susie's casts have overlapped so much by now, it's sometimes hard to keep up with what's happening when, who's with who, and exactly where each event on the timeline goes. She should probably start providing each book with some background notes. Other than that, I highly recommend her latest installment and look forward to more like it.
Hannah and CJ were a couple I didn't really pay attention to while reading the other two books. They were both prominent members of the team with little details thrown in regarding them but I never picked up on a romance between them. Initially I was more interested in a story about Hannah because she had been through a lot in the previous books but having CJ as a love interest was a delightful surprise. Their struggles were relatable and very honest in portrayal. I found myself strongly identifying with CJ a lot with the dark thoughts and attitude he faced after his injury. Maybe that's why it started to bug me a little bit. I should probably take a hint huh?
I loved that this one featured the wedding of a previous couple even though I felt a little jipped with how quickly it was glanced over. I would've loved getting some vows thrown in just to add a little closure and even more sweetness to their story. As it stands though, I really enjoyed this one. I truly hope there could be more stories in the future from this series but it seems like there are some crossovers I can bide my time with for now.
I loved how it flowed with emotions and adventure.
I find it was helpful to have read the other books in the Montana Fire Series. It was fun to see some of those stories from Hannah's perspective. I loved how the author wove all the stories together.
Hannah and CJ each had issues they needed to work through and it was wonderful to see how they learned to trust God and each other.
As always I love how Susan May Warren weaves the message of God's love in all her stories.
This is a great book and easy to read with lots of adventures, drama and swoon worthy romance! I think you'll find it's worth getting!