I have devoured the pages of The Tourist Attraction in just one sitting. This is a good one, folks!
Zoey has scrimped and saved her whole life to be able to go on a trip to Alaska with her (very rich) best friend, Lana. She has the whole thing planned out, and her handy Alaska travel guide to help her navigate it. But at every turn, things seem to be going horribly wrong… except where grumpy restaurant owner Graham is involved.
Graham started his little restaurant – “The Tourist Trap” – to be a joke. The town of Moose Springs is regularly overrun by tourists from the resort on the mountain above them, and it’s a never ending battle between the two groups. Graham is the reluctant owner of vacationers’ favorite place to be. And while he hates most tourists, he’s quickly growing a soft spot for his old friend Lana’s newest fellow traveler. Unfortunately, any flirtation with Zoey has an expiration date, and he’s falling hard.
I really fell in love with the characters in this novel. Zoey, in particular, is not only relatable but too cute for words. Graham’s archetype is this grumpy, artsy, mountain guy… and it’s totally working for him. The landscape he resides in is a great metaphor for his personality: beautiful and breathtaking, but harsh and unforgiving. Rough around the edges. This is why Graham and Zoey ended up making such a perfect fit, and such an adorable meet-cute; where Graham is hard, Zoey is pretty dang squishy and soft. They’re a lovely, believable balance.
I’m also basically obsessed with Alaska now. The kitschy setting of Moose Springs is just so warm and welcoming, and I am heartened to know that Morgenthaler spent time in Alaska prior to writing this new series. Maybe it really is like this in some places! Regardless, I’ve asked my boyfriend if we can move there, and he gave me the usual “okay sure, honey” I get every time I fall in love with a new part of the world. Suffice to say, we’ve yet to leave New Hampshire, hahaha. 🙂 I think you’re really going to fall in love with this setting, and never want to leave.
Some things I wasn’t a huge fan of: the ritzy life of these rich people, and their negative tones cast on the book. They’re a necessary element of telling the story, but goodness gracious were they annoying. Lana even, who is supposed to be a supportive best friend for Zoey, sometimes falls in this category and certainly wasn’t my favorite.
Additionally: the violence. I’m not saying there’s anything you have to worry about going into this book; it’s not really dark and nothing extremely violent or terrible happens. It’s just like, all the fighting. Physical fighting. For honestly no reason. I’m such a pacifist, every time someone put their fists up (to fight over a girl, to fight over nothing, blah blah) I did one big dramatic sigh, then read on.
What makes up for it: Graham’s blind border Collie, Jake, who is honestly the adorable star of this book. The definition of a good boy.
I am chomping at the bit to get the next book in this series, Mistletoe and Mr. Right. Throughout the story, you really fall in love with the characters of the town, and I’m excited to see their own love stories unfold. You can bet I’ll be picking up Morgenthaler’s latest in October. I am here for it!
I received a copy of The Tourist Attraction from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It’s out now – so get yourself a copy!
Have a lovely week everyone!
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