Better Not Pout
Author: Annabeth Albert
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Male/Male, Holiday
Imprint: Carina Press
On-sale Date: November 12, 2018 (ebook), November 27, 2018 (MMP)
One hard-nosed military police officer.
One overly enthusiastic elf.
One poorly timed snowstorm.
Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?
Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.
Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.
The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind.
Better Not Pout was a bit of sweet mixed with a lot of hot and steamy, set with characters that are both opposites attract and age gap in a holiday romance…so there’s plenty to like about the story. You know, besides the fact that it’s written by one of my favorite go-to authors.
Nick is your classic military guy, about to retire after almost thirty years of service. He’s pretty straight-laced, serious, and law abiding…with a soft spot to help that we get to see come out when it comes to kids in need. Teddy is super-sweet, upbeat, and has a positive outlook. He comes from a huge, close-knit family—but even so, he has something in common with Nick…they’re both a bit lonely for personal companionship. Though when Nick first meets Teddy he tries to keep his distance, Teddy quickly grows on him and I liked seeing how Teddy softened Nick up and got him to relax.
Nick only means for things with Teddy to be temporary since Nick’s leaving town once he retires from the military, so when those pesky feeling become involved, that’s where much of the conflict is introduced. I could feel that bit of slight disconnect between them with Nick trying to keep Teddy in the “temporary” category in his mind, even with their intimate scenes being as scorching as they were.
I liked the small town setting, and the cast of supporting characters was strong. I did have some odd pictures in my head thanks to Teddy and Nick being in their Santa and elf costumes for certain scenes that were a mix of jolly old Santa Claus with an elf on a shelf being naughty together…
This story was a 4-star read for me, that other star needed that disconnect to disappear and for Nick to be a bit more open to a relationship with Teddy—but Better Not Pout is still a great holiday romance regardless. This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language (oh-so-sweet Teddy can have quite the dirty mouth LOL) and steamy sexual content.
About the Author
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series include the #OutOfUniform, #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat, #RainbowCove and #PerfectHarmony series.
To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.
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