Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert
Released: November 12, 2018
Reviewed by Mandi
First, let me say – there is actual holiday stuff in this “holiday” romance. How many times have I read a holiday romance, with the holiday cover and title, and then be left with MAYBE one snowfall or one mention of a Christmas dinner??? Too many times to count! Better Not Pout has a hero wearing a santa suit! Thanksgiving! Lots of snow! An elf! Christmas presents! It got me in the holiday mood and made me cuddly and smiley.
With all of that holiday cheer, we also start with a super, grumpy hero. Oh, how delicious. Nick has almost 30 years in the military police. He is stationed in northern New York and is ready to retire to Florida, at the ripe age of 46. He has a buddy down south with a fishing business he might invest in. Nick isn’t super close with his family and doesn’t have a lot of close friends. In his past dating life, since he has had to move and travel so much, nothing really stuck, and he is just fine being by himself.
When he finds himself as a last-minute fill in for a Santa, he has no idea why he is doing this in an itchy, too small, santa suit. And the elf, a 28 year-old man is all bubbly and chatty and way too nice and friendly for grumpy Nick. Things only get worse when Nick’s truck goes off the road in a snow storm and Teddy aka Cheery Elf, spots him and offers him a ride and a dry place to stay while his truck gets fixed. Mr. Grumpy takes the offer but continues to be grumpy! I loved it. Teddy isn’t intimidated at all and offers a little fun between the sheets to pass the time. Nick can’t help himself (don’t worry – he freaks out the next morning) but eventually a lovely romance develops between these two
This one started out a little slow for me but quickly catches steam. The chemistry between Nick and Teddy ends up being really great – they are perfect for each other. Teddy falls hard for Nick, but knows he is retiring soon and moving way south makes him a little sad. Nick fears falling for a younger guy, but truly ends up loving Teddy and his gruff nature finally allows him to put his defenses down and just feel.
Lots of sexy time too. A fun holiday read!