The Perfect Holiday Romance Playlist with Annabeth Albert

The Perfect Holiday Romance Playlist with Annabeth Albert

A big, warm welcome to Annabeth Albert, who is here today to talk about her latest release, Better Not Pout.

Reviews—The Perfect Holiday Romance Playlist

Thank you so much for having me! I’m Annabeth Albert, and I’m here celebrating my latest release, Better Not Pout, which stars a cranky solider about to leave the service and a much-younger man intent on giving him a good holiday. This one stands completely alone, so if you’ve been waiting to try my military romances, this is the perfect time to try! However, long-time readers know how important music is to my creative process, and I wanted to share with you all some of my inspiration for Better Not Pout. You might assume that holiday book = nothing but holiday songs, but in reality, I used a mix of holiday music to get in the right mood for my favorite season and music that speaks to the story itself and the journey of Teddy and Nick. You can check out the full playlist here:

but I wanted to highlight a couple of key songs.

You might assume that holiday book = nothing but holiday songs, but in reality, I used a mix of holiday music to get in the right mood for my favorite season and music that speaks to the story itself and the journey of Teddy and Nick. You can check out the full playlist here:

but I wanted to highlight a couple of key songs.

  • Wintersong by Sarah McLachlan is such a gorgeous seasonal song that’s not really holiday. This song really spoke to me about Nick’s long-buried longing as the story opens, and then I used the song again in the last 1/3 of the book as he really realizes the depth of his emotions.
  • I’ll be Home by Meghan Trainor is another non-traditional holiday song, and it really symbolized Teddy’s love of his family and town for me. Later in the story, it’s Nick who realizes what’s missing from his life, and the song took on meaning for him as well.
  • Something About December by Christina Perri has such gorgeous atmosphere and longing. It really spoke to both Teddy’s love of the season and Nick’s secret hopes and dreams. There really is something about December for both heroes and their journey to HEA!
  • Lucky Star by Winter Took His Life. This song contains a line about not being afraid to change, and wow, does that line ever apply to both heroes here, who both need the courage to step out of their comfort zones and take a leap of faith to find true happiness.
  • O Holy Night by everyone (Josh Groban and Straight No Chaser especially!). I did have some traditional songs on the playlist, and this one really symbolized Nick for me for some reason. The season, his feelings, his needs, and of course Teddy, all work together to bring him to his knees.
  • Already Home by A Great Big World. The nature and importance of home is a huge part of the story for me. And for both Nick and Teddy, home is a malleable concept, one that their feelings influence. And the story takes place in upstate New York, so the song’s focus on New York is perfect here.
  • If We Make It Through December by Blue Rodeo. As the story opens, Nick is really just wanting to make it through the season. His journey to embracing December really is the heart of the book, and I loved this song for him.
  • What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve by Johnnyswim is one of the theme songs for the book for me for reasons that become clear in the second half of the book. The magic of New Year’s and the promise of a fresh start is something I wanted to capture.
  • Christmas Lights by Coldplay is another of the theme songs for the book, and it is the one I listened to over and over and over as I drafted. The idea of waiting for the right season for love and light is at the heart of the book and the journey for Nick.

Do you have a favorite seasonal song? Like Christmas albums? Hate them? Share! And I hope you check out BETTER NOT POUT and enjoy Teddy’s and Nick’s journey. And if you love audio, they’re coming to audio and paperback November 27! Thanks for having me!

Title: Better Not Pout
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: November 12, 2018
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 304
Reviewed by: Ariel, Lili and Susan


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 book is approximately 65,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

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Author Bio

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. The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series.

To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: 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.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

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