12 Tropes of 2020 Challenge – Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

May/December from
12 Tropes of 2020

Refers to a romantic relationship where there is a drastic difference in age between the two participants.

Taken from TV Tropes

“Some say I’m robbing the cradle, but I say she’s robbing the grave!”

Hubert FarnsworthFuturama

Better Not Pout
by Annabeth Albert

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. 

Blurb taken from Goodreads

My thoughts

Better Not Pout has been on my reading list for a while now, I remember making grand plans to read it all the way back in December 2017… it only took me two years to read it. I am very glad that I did eventually read this book as I found it to be quite a sweet and tender hearted novel.

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Review and Blog Tour: Arctic Wild by Annabeth Albert

Arctic Wild

by Annabeth Albert.

Publisher: Carina Press.

Goodreads: link.

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When a plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness, the best place to land is in the arms of a younger man…

Hotshot attorney Reuben Graham has finally agreed to take a vacation, when his plane suddenly plunges into the Alaskan wilderness.

Just his luck.

But his frustrations have only begun as he finds himself stranded with the injured, and superhot, pilot, a man who’s endearingly sociable—and much too young for Reuben to be wanting him this badly.

As the sole provider for his sisters and ailing father, Tobias Kooly is devastated to learn his injuries will prevent him from working or even making it back home. So when Reuben insists on giving him a place to recover, not even Toby’s pride can make him refuse. He’s never been tempted by a silver fox before, but something about Reuben is impossible to resist.

Recuperating in Reuben’s care is the last thing Toby expected, yet the closer they become, the more incredibly right it feels, prompting workaholic Reuben to question the life he’s been living. But when the pressure Toby’s under starts closing in, both men will have to decide if there’s room in their hearts for a love they never saw coming.


eBook Release Date: June 3, 2019.

Length: 400 pages. Approx 105,000 words.

Series:Frozen Hearts #2

Paperback Release Date: June 25, 2019.

Genre: Romance. M/M Romance. QUILTBAG. Contemporary.

My Thoughts

Having previously read and enjoyed Annabeth Albert’s novel Connection Error, I knew I had to check out her new series. Skipping straight ahead to the second book in the ‘Frozen Heart‘ series, I was so happy to see that Arctic Wild had the same emotional foundation and honest relationship building that I fell in love with in her previous writing.

Initially I found the characters of Arctic Wild quite separate from each other; they were each such strong presences but were held apart by their life experiences, age, and for Tobias a desire to maintain a professional relationship and Reuben, a reluctance to engage with anything outside of work. I will admit to sometimes finding it difficult to believe in and feel the connections between romantic pairs that have such an age difference, but in Arctic Wild, I had no such problems.

The real pleasure from Arctic Wild is seeing the emotional walls comes down and getting to see the pair really engage with each other. Once these walls were dropped, the real connections formed and the pair, for me, really started to make sense together.

Albert has a way of telling stories that sweep you off you feet and slowly pull you away. Arctic Wild is a novel that builds upon itself – you’re introduced to these characters and are taken on an emotional journey as the pair begin to open up to each other and make a real connection.

I really enjoyed the effortless way Arctic Wild is written and I found myself falling for both of these characters. I would really recommend giving Arctic Wild a read and if not, definitely picking up one of Albert’s other books.

Please note: I received a copy of Arctic Wild from A Novel Take Promotions.

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SLRG: Connection Error by Annabeth Albert

connection error
Connection Error

by Annabeth Albert.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb: It’s typical of video game programmer Josiah Simmons to be the last one on the plane on the way to the biggest meeting of his career. Though he’s (mostly) coping with his ADHD, he can’t handle another distraction. But he also can’t ignore his rugged seatmate—especially once he learns the military man’s a fan of his game.

Ryan Orson refuses to let his severe injuries pause his career as a navy SEAL. He’s got hours of grueling physical therapy ahead of him, and no time for anything that might get in the way of his return to active duty. But that doesn’t mean he’s above a little first-class flirtation with geeky-cute Josiah.

When a delay strands the pair in St. Louis, they agree to share a hotel room and a night of gaming. Neither expects their new connection to move to the next level in the light of day. Opposites may attract, but is this game over before it’s even begun?

Length: 245 pages.

Series: #gaymers #3

Genre: QUILTBAG. M/M Romance.

Read as an: eBook.


My Thoughts: Reeeally loved this couple. I loved the dynamic between them and how they both viewed the relationship – it added an emotional depth to the pair. The unstable ground between them mixed with their easy compatibility was so great. Especially when you combined this with the emotional journeys the characters were on, Josiah and his leadership issues and Ryan with his rehabilitation.

I knew while I was reading this that it was not only amazing but that it was one of my favourites for the year ❤

Smut Level: Lots of off-screen action and relationship development but I enjoyed this aspect of the novel. The sexy scenes were great and really emotionally charged.

I loved seeing the emotional development of Ryan throughout these scenes as he learned that he can still be the same sexual being he was previous to his accident.


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