Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Better Not Pout (Better Not Pout, #1) by Annabeth Albert

BEAUTIFUL BEYOND WORDS. I would have left this review with only these three words that say what's important - GRAB IT NOW. I don't care about Christmas, I don't celebrate Christmas as I'm not Christian, but if you are - it's another reason for you to get it NOW. Lucky me it's "holiday" here so I was able to read almost till the birds started singing outside my window and wake up (earlier than I thought!) to finish it. Truthfully, I couldn't have asked for more even if I really tried.

That being said I'm actually going to write a review! hehe

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki is a month away from retirement. He's 46 years old so it's time. Yet feeling "useless" with no real goal doesn't feel "right" even if he has his plan of going to Florida and helping a friend with his boat business. Fishing, enjoying the sun (his current location lacks..) is what he deserves after years of drifting from base to base, doing his duty. Yet he has one more mission his Commander asked him to take care of and though he's reluctant he'll do it for her - replace her husbands' usual role of Santa in the sleepy little town of "Mineral Spirits" she calls her own. 

Wearing the smallish costume (for him) of Santa he takes off to do his duty, reluctant being an understatement. Nick isn't a holiday kind of guy. He isn't in touch with his family (maybe a bit with his only sister) and so his first interaction being with an elf - green slippers with pompons included - makes him even more weary. But the jolly Teddy MacNally loves holidays enough for the both of them and he is going to make Nick enjoy himself and even SMILE even if he didn't plan to.

The attraction is there. But neither man is willing to admit it until Nick is straddled for the night in Teddy's place. From there a casual relationship and a slowly building friendship progresses. It's mostly Teddy's doing but little by little Nick finds Teddy truly irresistible, and I'm not talking about the sexual part - there is something in Teddy's big heart, the way he treats people, helping, always smiling that manages to defrost Nick's heart. Teddy doesn't want to admit it to himself but it's getting harder with each interaction. They agreed on a casual relationship since Nick has only this one month, but everything about Nick appeals to him. His reliable and stable character, his confidence and good nature - caring, giving and protective - even if he doesn't realize it about himself. The way he opens up to Teddy and allows him to enjoy things he didn't think he would. Their tender yet passionate love making was also something that showed right from the start this HAS to work. With every touch their resolve to keep this thing between them casual shattered.

But a month is a month and once it's over neither of them knows how a future together can be possible. Nick gave his word to his friend in Florida and anyway there's a reason he loved the idea of going to a warmer place hating this cold and snowy weather. Teddy's whole life is in "Mineral Spirits" and not only because his family is populates half of the town. He has a job he loves and anyhow Nick seems pretty settled on them leaving things the way they are. Nick doesn't see himself as a relationship kind of guy (evidence shows the contrary..) and considering the age difference between them (close to 20 years) he doesn't want to hold Teddy back.

Decisions. Decisions. They get together in the end but as usual it's all about the journey. Teddy and Nick were heart warming together. Nick was a bit icy at the beginning, but it didn't take him long to allow Teddy's sunshine (even through the stormy weather) to break through his cold resolve. They were the best match. They already knew who they were, even if Teddy was younger than Nick, yet they still had a wonderful impact on one another, growing on their own and together. They were funny and endearing together. The whole story feeling mostly light weight even if Nick's retirements date always hung in the background. The sense of home, family and community was so strong in this book I ADORED that. It's not wonder Nick got caught in the holidays vibe and even less surprising it made me UNABLE to put this book down. 

I could write for hours about this book but I really don't want to spoiler anything. I just want ANYONE and EVERYONE to read it. Please do. You'll thank me, and especially Annabeth, later.

Yeah, you're welcome :)

If you want more of this adorable couple grab "Must Be Santa" in a secure relationship looking forward to their next step. 

Read on:
9 October 2019

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