‘Better Not Pout’ is an entertaining, uncomplicated, sexy, fun holiday story that takes one grumpy wanna’ be Scrooge with a slightly broken family and adds in a cute, sexy, twinkish elf with blond curls and a well meaning but meddlesome family then dresses it all up with a small community, some snow and a series of unfortunate events often tinged with humorous moments to create a holiday story filled with the spirit of the season and the best Christmas present ever…the gift of love.
At 46 years old Sergeant Major Nick Nowicki is about to retire…whether he’s ready or not and he’s got a plan. Nick’s also a bit of a bah-humbug sort of guy and Karma’s about to mess with him in the form of his CO making a slightly irregular request of him. But Nick’s determined to see it through when she asks him to step into the role of Santa Clause that her husband normally fills. Feeling like he can’t say no, Nick agrees and heads off to Mineral Spirits where he meets Santa’s elf in the form of one sexy, mischievous, blond haired and twinkish elf, named Teddy.
Teddy gets one look at his new Santa and he’s ready to climb him like a tree. Nick likes what he sees when he meets Santa’s elf, but he’s determined to get in, do the job and get out...keep it strictly professional. What he’s not counting on is just how much one adorable, feisty elf can melt his heart with nothing more than sincerity, honestly and some adorable blond curls.
On paper this pair probably shouldn’t work…there’s a fairy significant age gap, Nick’s a by the book career military man, he’s estranged from his family all but his sister and while they try to maintain a relationship it’s nothing like the closely-knit bonds that Teddy shares with his own family. Nick’s a by the book military man who’s buried himself in his career losing contact with not only his family but friends over the years as well, but Teddy’s all about the family and friends so much so that after college he’s returned to the community where he grew up to use his education in a position that allows him to help out and give back to the community that he grew up in. These two men are even polar opposites physically but in spite of everything they’re drawn to each other.
Despite all their differences Nick and Teddy work as a couple. They fit. Teddy knows it and he wants a happily ever after for him and Nick but wishing and wanting doesn’t always make dreams come true especially when one man’s heading for Florida and the other man isn’t sure that he can bring himself to give up his hometown, it’s going to take both men willing to compromise and meet in the middle to give them the holiday happiness that will last throughout the years to come.
This is only my second time reading this author and I have to admit I’m looking forward to reading a lot more. I loved the pacing and flow of this story and once again Ms Albert has taken the adage of ‘opposites attract’ and made it into a story that’s every bit as believable as it is enjoyable. This one’s definitely recommended for anyone who’s looking to find out what happens when Santa Clause comes to town!
A copy of ‘Better Not Pout’ was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.