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.
Title: Better Not Pout
Author: Annabeth Albert
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Male/Male, Holiday
Imprint: Carina Press
Tis the season for Christmas stories! And for me there is no better way than with a book by one of my favorite authors.
This story deviated from her norm in that it was set in upstate NY (not the Pacific Northwest or San Diego) and it featured an Army MP (not a Navy Seal). And it was adorable.
Nick is in his last month of active duty as an Army mp before he retires. Sounds like he was pushed into retirement, but I don’t think it was ever explained why. And without giving anything away, the events surrounding the tragedy in Nick’s family was never really explained either. Small details most probably won’t notice.
Teddy runs a non-profit in his home town. A hometown that seems to be overrun by his extended family. Nick is persuaded to help Teddy and the non profit by dressing as Santa for some pictures and other events leading up to Christmas.
To say Nick and Teddy are polar opposites is putting it mildly. Nick is super grumpy, minimalistic, isn’t close to his family and doesn’t care about the holidays. And he much prefers sun and surf to snow and ice. Teddy is a do-gooder, perpetually happy, is ridiculously close to his family and adores the holidays.
I loved Teddy’s confidence. He puts himself out there with Nick and when he is turned down he doesn’t get all mopey and feeling sorry for himself. He just continues on. The way he slowly insinuated himself into Nick’s life as a friend was super cute.
And then they did get together and wow. That would melt the snow on the roof.
I appreciated that the book included Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve in the story line. It was a fairly happy, low angst book with all of the holiday and family feels.
4 Pieces of Candy
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.