Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

Better Not Pout - Banner Graphic 1.2

“Annabeth Albert delivers another charmer with Better Not Pout. A sweet and sexy holiday read that finds a grumpy St. Nick charmed by a do-gooder elf and his snowy town. Better Not Pout will warm your heart and soul this holiday season.”

— Layla Reyne, author of the Agents Irish and Whiskey and Trouble Brewing series

Better Not Pout was charming, sweet, and sexy all at once! I love everything Annabeth Albert writes and this was no exception.” — Cat Sebastian, author of The Soldier’s Scoundrel, The Ruin of a Rake, and The Regency Imposters series

BETTER NOT POUT by Annabeth Albert 9781488038686 Front CoverBetter Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

Publisher:

Carina Press (Harlequin)

Release Date (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: Monday November 12, 2018

Print (mmp): Tuesday November 27, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: 288

Print (mmp): 288

Subgenre: Contemporary Romance, Male/Male Romance, Holiday Romance, Military Romance

Order at:

Carina Press

Barnes & Noble (mmp)

Barnes & Noble (ebook)

Amazon

Book Synopsis:

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.

***

Annabeth Albert says that, “BETTER NOT POUT is a male/male holiday romance featuring endearing characters with a fun, flirty plot that will remind readers of their favorite holiday rom-coms.”

Excerpt:

        Not that this cranky Santa seemed particularly enamored of him or easy to get to know, but Teddy was determined to give the guy a pleasant day, especially after the disastrous start. Not that he’d call it a disaster—any time he got a glimpse of a muscled ass that spectacular was a win—but Nick’s discomfort had been almost palpable. And yeah, he seemed to be rather attached to his rank and title, but Teddy simply wasn’t that formal. Commander Grace had always insisted that they call her Miriam, and he was on a first name basis with plenty of other military personnel.

“So the first stop is the old Lee barn,” he said. “That’s outside of town, then we’ll work our way back to the resource center with a few other stops.”

“Are people really going to be able to guess one barn from another?” Nick sounded highly skeptical.

“Oh yeah. The Lee barn is part of a historic estate and it’s open for tours during daylight hours.”

“But after dark…” Rhonda laughed knowingly. “The estate is a favorite make-out spot for teenagers, and no amount of chase off from the police can stop them. Everyone will recognize the barn, but no one will want to cop to why. That’s why it’s perfect.”

“I see. Watch the road, MacNally. Posted limit is fifty-five. You don’t need a ticket.”

“We’re good.” Teddy tried not to show his irritation at the rebuke. He supposed he could have compromised and let Nick drive himself to the sites, but as usual Teddy had had a plan and didn’t want to deviate from it, even if it meant putting up with the backseat driving. “And it’s Teddy. There are so many MacNallys in and around Mineral Spirits that you’ll get twenty heads swiveling if you call for MacNally.”

Review:

This book is so good, and cute, and lovely, and wonderful and definitely provides some warmth in the holiday season.

Teddy is like the holiday spirit in the form of an actual person, and I wouldn’t have him any other way. I love that he is such a good person, and it’s just so great to have a character like him, who is flawed but inherently good.

Nowicki is also a good person, he just doesn’t want anyone to know it but it does get revealed piece by piece in reading this book. It’s a good novel, especially at this time of year, and in the climate we’re in where everything seems to be going wrong.

It’s a comfort to see something go right.

Re-Read Review: Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

bone crossed.jpgTitle: Bone Crossed

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson/Mercyverse

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Summary: 

By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she’s out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won’t be Mercy’s blood Marsilia is after.

It’ll be her friends’.

Review: 

Oh and you thought the vampires were creepy as hell before? Well they just went and got creepier! They saw your thoughts as a challenge, my friends, and they came back badder than ever.

That being said, so did Mercy.

She is a total badass. The baddest around in fact,so far.

Her relationship with Adam is growing in this book, in a very natural and organic sort of way. Often you pick up the next book and the characters are all in but Patricia Briggs is allowing a slow progression that feels more real.

Her friendships are changing and evolving, and it feels more like family this time around with many of the secondary characters.

The villain in this is creepy as hell, and I found myself squirming in discomfort when he was on the page because damn, some people are just flat out maniacal and I don’t think I realized what that meant until now. Now I know. I partly wish I didn’t.

This is a solid installment in the Mercy-verse and I have no complaints to speak of.

Oh just one actually, more Warren please. It’s really more of a  request than a complaint. I love that good ol’ country boy.

Re-Read Review: Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

iron kissed.jpgTitle: Iron Kissed

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Summary: 

I could smell her fear, and it satisfied something deep inside me that had been writhing under her cool, superior gaze. I curled my upper lip so she could get a good look at my sharp teeth. I might only weigh thirty or so pounds in my coyote shape, but I was a predator…

Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape – but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it’s up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.

Mercy’s loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can’t decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her… 

My Thoughts:

Mercy, even in re-reads, remains one of my favourite urban fantasy main characters. She is fire, she is toughness and vulnerability all enrolled into one. And as she experiences true danger within this book she does not give up.

Adam is as loyal to her and his pack as ever, and there is some surprising character growth against his usual “type” in this genre. You’ll have to read it to find out what it is.

Warren, Kyle and Mercy’s friendship continues to be one of my favourite components of these novels. I can only hope we get to see more of them in the future.

This book allows the reader to learn more about the world of the fae. And just like the world of the vampires it is fucking terrifying.

This series continues to impress, as the world expands, and the characters remain fresh and new.

The plot is not stagnant, instead it is forever changing, and evolving to accommodate new characters, new dangers and a whole lot of fun.

 

Re-Read Review: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

BLOOD BOUNDTitle: Blood Bound

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson aka The Mercy-Verse

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Summary: 

Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen…

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him. 

My Thoughts: 

The fourth book in the Mercy-verse (full length) and the second in the Mercy Thompson series this book certainly amps things up quite a bit.

The vampires have come out to play in full force within this novel, and I was definitely happy to learn more about them. They are definitely creatures of the night, and their magic is distinct and even unique for the genre. But they are also not all what they seem.

Mercy is as courageous as ever, much to Samuel, Adam and even Bran’s chagrin. She’s definitely not one to sit back and take orders, which is one of the things I love about her. Her character really does progress within this book.

Stefan as a character, and a creature of the night gets fleshed out a bit more here, showing a surprising soft side that made me like him even more.

This book is a solid continuation to the series and definitely deserves some major kudos for continuing to progress the series in a strong way that made me want to pick up the next book immediately to keep reading.

 

Re-Read Review: The Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Title: The Hunting Ground

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Alpha and Omega aka The Mercy-verse

Summary:

Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either…

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything…

Review:

This book, the second in the Alpha and Omega series, and third chronologically in the Mercy-verse and man do I freaking love it.

Anna is definitely coming into her strengths and her power, and her relationship with Charles within this novel.

Charles is learning how to be around Anna, and others without having adverse reactions or over-possessive reactions to either. But he still hates vehicles.

Bran trusts them more together and it shows, as he sends them to one of the most important werewolf conventions (TM) to date.

The question of revealing themselves to humans hangs in the balance, and vampires and fae are there to fuck it up even more. But in true Patricia Briggs style none of these characters are just going to sit back and let chaos happen.

The plot to this book is fast paced and super enjoyable for any urban fantasy fan. There are no cookie cutter characters, but definitely characters who are not what they seem. So prepare to be deceived my friends, because I most certainly was.

So go, buy it, buy all of them. I promise you a good time will be had by all.

Re-Read: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Title: Cry Wolf

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Alpha and Omegas aka The Mercyverse

Summary:

Anna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack… and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer—and son—of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.

Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna’s inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf—a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack.

It is recommended you read the prequel “Alpha & Omega” before reading Cry Wolf.

Review:

The second book chronologically in the Mercy-verse, which is the order I decided to re-read this series in this follows Moon Called, and the novella Alpha and Omega which you definitely need to check out before reading this one or it might not make much sense.

Anna is a character borne of a vulnerable situation with a whole lot of strength. So much strength that she isn’t even quite aware of it, but those around her definitely are.

This novel also shows us more into the world of the Marrok, and his sons which is something I was so interested to see even from the time I read Moon Called. Bran seems like a gentle soul but he’s got a spine of steel, and an even tougher soul, which is shown in this novel.

Charles has a tough outer shell but a bit of a marshmallow centre when it comes to his mate, which definitely shows as well. He is a character with layers, unlike a lot of male characters in this genre.

The plot of this book is an intriguing one as well, melding the world of werewolves with long histories with the world of magic, witches and rogues.

It is a great book, very easy to imagine what is happening in your head.

Re-Read Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

moon calledTitle: Moon Called

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson aka The Mercyverse

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Summary: 

Mercedes Thompson, aka Mercy, is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will.

Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire.

This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…

Thoughts:

Have Mercy!

Now that I’ve gotten the John Stamos joke out of the way.

Expect to be spellound, says the little quote on front of this interestingly covered book.

I admit, when I read the quotes on books I kind of just shake my head. But that quote is right, my wonderful little, book obsessed friends.

Mercy Thompson is one kickass character. And she is far from perfect. That being said, she is oh so perfect in my eyes. Like seriously. I want to be her best friend. I want to learn how to fix cars, kick ass and forget the names from her.

She is well written, she is fierce, her story is not an overly familiar one from what I’ve read in the genre and at no point during this book was I gearing up to get to the action, nor was I bored in the moment that there was no action.

The characters in this novel are all different, and none of them are cookie cutter even when they might be on the verge of being so.

The plot is not formulaic, in fact it’s quite enjoyable to learn about this world in which vampires drive mystery machines, werewolves are Vietnam war veterans (or older) and fae are former Volkswagen mechanics.

So if you’re in the mood for something a bit heavier, but not super heavy and wanting to slip into a world that’s not your own you should definitely pick this one up.