Better Not Pout (Susan’s Review)

Title: Better Not Pout
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: November 12th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 65,000 words (approx)
Reviewed by: Susan
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


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.

This was just lovely.

I wasn’t too sure after the first few chapters, but somehow it won me over anyway.

46 year old Sergeant Major Nick Nowicki has been asked to play Santa in the little town of Mineral Spirits this year by his commanding officer. Her husband always plays Santa, but can’t do it this year because of health problems.

Nick is not happy he is now stuck in a Santa suit that’s too small, in a little town where it seems to be always snowing. And all the people in it just seem so darn nice. But it’s for charity, so he sets off to find the director of the charity event.

When Nick meets the 28 year old director, Teddy, he isn’t sure he can do this. Teddy is just way too happy to be playing an elf. Nick just wants this all over with.

But after spending the day together, Nick has to admit that Teddy isn’t so bad. Of course he is way too young for Nick, but he is kind of cute.

When Nick leaves at the end of the day, he crashes his car and ends up in a ditch in the middle of a snowstorm. Lucky for him, Teddy drives by and takes him to his place, which is just around the corner.

Teddy is quite happy the big grumpy Sergeant Major is spending the night. At first Nick doesn’t seem to want to start anything with Teddy, but somehow they end up in bed together anyway.

Nick tried to turn Teddy down since he has nothing to offer the younger man. Especially because he is retiring from the army and moving to the beach to start a business with an old army buddy in a month.

But in that month the two can’t seem to stay away from each other, and it’s not long before both are feeling way too much for just a ‘fling’…….

This was darn cute. Nick was a bit hard to like at first, but I loved how Teddy made him open up more, made him happier, softer, gentler.

Teddy was just adorable and I loved how kind and gentle he was. I also really loved his big family and how everyone basically lived in each other’s pocket in the tiny town.

This was such a lovely Christmas story with just a tiny bit of angst (if you could even call it that).

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Galley copy of Better Not Pout provided by publisher in exchange of an honest review.

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