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Saturday Smutty Six: Thanksgiving

Are you looking for the coziness of a Christmas special without the whole Christmas thing? Do you think that Thanksgiving is an under-represented romance setting? Maybe you have a secret desire to read books about as many different holidays as you possibly can? 

Whatever your reasons, if you’re like us, you’re looking for a Thanksgiving themed romance, so here are some we’ve found:

A Match Made for Thanksgiving by Jackie Lau

A Thanksgiving romance list really wouldn’t be complete without this delightful novella that kicks off the Holidays with the Wongs series. This book is great because the protagonists are sincerely going to have a one night stand and just happen to end up at Thanksgiving together because Nick’s parents decided their kids need help finding love and invited dates to their family dinner. As parents do. It’s pretty funny, and it’s even better because Lily isn’t Nick’s date—she’s being set up with his brother!

Her Naughty Holiday by Tiffany Reisz

This book has everything you could want in a Thanksgiving romance. A matchmaking, wise-cracking, nature-worshipping teenager. Gentle teasing between the main characters. A relationship that starts fake but quickly gets real (without a bunch of drama). Lots of sexy sex at a beautiful lake house. And a truly epic scene of telling off unsupportive family members on Thanksgiving day.

Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert

This book starts on Thanksgiving and carries on through the holidays. Russ is having a bad day on account of he’s supposed to host Thanksgiving but can’t cook when his neighbor, Esteban, finds him tossing a whole skillet in the dumpster. For his part, Esteban can’t resist the grumpy neighbor who is definitely struggling, so he offers to help cook—he just doesn’t realize he’s going to get himself roped into a fake relationship that just doesn’t seem to have a good end date. And then what’s fake becomes physical, so maybe there’s no need to end anything at all. If only their emotional hang-ups over their past didn’t get in the way…

Fakesgiving by Kat Baxter

I’m not convinced that Baxter is actually a geek, because everyone knows that people who like Star Trek don’t call themselves Trekkies, and also Seven of Nine is in no way an obscure reference, BUT if you are less of a geek than me, and you might enjoy a short, playful, fake dating, boss/assistant romance for Thanksgiving, then go for it. It’s just a fun story. My favorite part is that the adhesion plot thrust happens when Kaitlyn’s Mom calls her boss to personally invite him to Thanksgiving, which is how he finds out that Kaitlyn told her family that they’re dating. Since he’s been pining for her, maybe this is his moment.

Stuffed by Hannah Murray

Yeah so…a very nice young couple named Esme and Tucker invite four special friends over for Thanksgiving and also to bake things in Esme’s oven simultaneously. Just like, one after another. They’re all very close friends, and they each have special recipes they’re eager to share with Esme. It was very surprising how much icing was involved in these recipes. If you read this and felt a certain way, then you might really enjoy this book.

Thanksgiving by Janet Evanovitch

If you’re looking for a manic Thanksgiving comedy, this might just fit the bill. Megan and Patrick are definitely attracted to each other; the conflict comes into play when they consider commitment, and what that might look like. Readers should be aware that there is a heavy emphasis on marriage and babies as requirements for building a family. Bonus points for readers who are as excited by Colonial Williamsburg as our protagonists are.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Annabeth Albert

Looking for a new author to try out? Here’s everything you need to know about Annabeth Albert, whose books include Conventionally Yours, Sailor Proof, and the Out of Uniform series.

What She Writes:

Contemporary M/M character-driven romance primarily written in dual POV (sometimes 1st person, sometimes 3rd person).

Expect: geek-love, domesticity, and competence porn.

See also: age gaps, size difference, and virgin heroes

What Makes Her Unique:

If you’re looking for certain kinds of rep, she’s likely to write it. Demisexuality, bisexuality, heroes using wheelchairs, heroes with ADHD or other neurodiversity, and so on. Her protagonists also work through their issues by talking them out on page – literary stand-ins for healthy communication and conflict resolution need not apply. Her military romances are very popular, but often her protagonists (including many of the partners of the military protagonists) have unique or unglamorous jobs. 

Writing Style:

The tension in her stories tends to come from a situational problem or long-held idea. Think vacation romance (one is going home eventually) or eternal bachelor (can have bedroom fun, can’t do emotional connection). Most often it’s more of an AND, actually, with emotional hang-ups compounding the situational conflict. This results in a relatively calm narrative voice with a focus on internal processing, domestic scenes that demonstrate what the future could be like, and gray moments that allow the protagonists to consider their life choices and desires after a fight. Some drama may occur (like escaping a flash flood by climbing a cliff face or surviving an avalanche), but it doesn’t drive the story.

How I feel when I’m reading:

Why We Love Her:

Her books are calmly, domestically, charmingly satisfying. And she leans into the geeky.

She Might Not Be For You If:

You prefer plot-driven romance to character-driven romance. Or you like high drama. Or if characters not acting in their own best (romantic) interests drives you up the wall. Also: Most of her protagonists want marriage, and though some of her couples don’t have or discuss children, kids or a desire for kids is not unusual.

Notable Quotation:

Tipsy. Ah, that was it. Dylan was definitely buzzing, and the usually rock-solid Apollo had to be doing the same. That explained the laughing and the touching and the unrestrained eagerness. Darn it. Dylan wished that just this…whatever it was between them was enough, that it could be the sole source of Apollo’s sudden mood shift, that he alone could intoxicate Apollo to this affectionate state. 

The lights of downtown beckoned as the boat approached the dock. Wanting more with this man was as foolish as trying to harness the flickering lights of the tall buildings. And yet… 

I want it all.

At Attention

The Bottom Line:

These books are not GIANT EMOTIONAL FEELS books that will knock your socks off. They are pure comfort reads that feel good like: I’ll be reading that whole backlist now.

Content Warnings:

While these sometimes angsty protagonists often don’t feel particularly high-angst, they still may be dealing with various kinds of trauma including: homophobic families or colleagues, internalized homophobia, disabilities from new injuries, personal chronic illnesses, family members dealing with chronic or terminal illnesses, grief from recent death in the family, financial instability or insecurity, etc. Several of her books also include (difficult) coming out narratives (see homophobia). 

Start With:

Sailor Proof

Series Review

Series Review: Out of Uniform Series by Annabeth Albert (2017)

Heat Factor: It’s pretty sexy. Except for the book with the demisexual protagonist, which is a slower burn, these guys have a lot of sex. Some of it is kinky funtimes, too.

Character Chemistry: The chemistry between the protagonists largely worked for me (I mean, I binged this series HARD, so something was working)

Plot: Navy SEALs navigate queer love in a macho-type workplace while dealing with work-related hurdles and personal dramas

Overall: I’m not always one for the military romance (though more me than Holly or Ingrid), but this series totally did it for me.

Continue reading “Series Review: Out of Uniform Series by Annabeth Albert (2017)”
Recommended Read, Review

Review: At Attention by Annabeth Albert (2017)

Out of Uniform, Book #2

Heat Factor: It’s sexy – they get up to all kinds of things when they get some privacy – but it’s mostly yearning 

Character Chemistry: Oh my word, the pining!

Plot: Widower is goaded (jealousy is such an instigator!) into helping out his bestie by letting the little brother room with his family over the summer in exchange for childcare. 

Overall: This book was so charming but it was also delightfully thrilling

Continue reading “Review: At Attention by Annabeth Albert (2017)”
Recommended Read, Review

Review: Sailor Proof by Annabeth Albert (2021)

Shore Leave, Book #1

Heat Factor: Bed sex, bathtub sex, shower sex….lotsa sex 

Character Chemistry: I feel like a heart eyes emoji right now

Plot: Two men who are absolutely not a good match engage in a fake welcome home kiss that turns into a fake relationship that turns into OMG is this a good match?!?!

Overall: This is one of those delightfully tropey romances that feels like a warm hug to read

Continue reading “Review: Sailor Proof by Annabeth Albert (2021)”