THE TOURIST ATTRACTION by Sarah Morgenthaler


Moose Springs, Alaska: Book 1

From the publisher:

When Graham Barnett named his diner The Tourist Trap, he meant it as a joke. Now he’s stuck slinging reindeer dogs to an endless string of resort visitors who couldn’t interest him less. Not even the sweet, enthusiastic tourist in the corner who blushes every time he looks her way…

Two weeks in Alaska isn’t just the top item on Zoey Caldwell’s bucket list. It’s the whole bucket. One look at the mountain town of Moose Springs and she’s smitten. But when an act of kindness brings Zoey into Graham’s world, she may just find there’s more to the man than meets the eye…and more to love in Moose Springs than just the Alaskan wilderness.

Just had to add my two cents here. Caitlin recommended this book for me. She said, “Quirky town, Alaska, and a cute dog,” and that was all she had to say. She was so right, I loved it! Book 2 in the series, “Mistletoe and Mr. Right,” comes out in October, but I can’t wait. I plan on begging Sourcebooks Casablanca for an advance copy!

“Rom-com” is a term that gets used a lot to describe romance novels lately and The Tourist Attraction is one of the best examples of the genre I have read recently, combining laugh out loud scenes with banter-filled chemistry between the two leads. Almost from the beginning, Zoe Caldwell’s dream vacation to Alaska starts to go wrong. She encounters a chainsaw-wielding man, a stubborn horse, and a bread loving moose.

The one positive through all her misadventures is local diner owner Graham Barnett. Graham loves his hometown but hates the tourists that descend on Moose Springs every summer. The irony is the more he tries to make the tourists hate his diner the more popular it becomes. Even the Growly Bear, a drink that is described as blue with gummy bears floating in it, goes viral.

I absolutely loved Zoe and Graham as a couple. Her enthusiasm and appreciation for Alaska’s unique wilderness is infectious and Graham is the perfect combination of grumpy with a heart of gold. He may regularly throw tourists out of his diner, but he also makes sure his blind dog has matching hats and pajamas. Zoe and Graham are both quirky and had me rooting for their happy ever after.

It is not just the sharp dialogue that makes The Tourist Attraction stand out. Morgenthaler also shows a strong appreciation for her setting and the descriptions of the Alaskan mountains, glaciers, and wildlife had me ready to pack my bags.  At the same time, she also raises important points about the impact that the tourism industry has on the native wildlife giving an otherwise comedic story a little nuance.

The Tourist Attraction was a welcome escape, and at a time when travel seems like a far distant possibility, it allowed me to take a trip to Alaska and visit the charming town of Moose Springs. Morgenthaler is planning at least two more books about Moose Springs and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.

5/2020 Caitlin Brisson

THE TOURIST ATTRACTION by Sarah Morgenthaler. Sourcebooks Casablanca (May 5, 2020). ISBN 9781492693116. 352 p.




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