The Tourist Attraction

Sarah Morgenthaler

Some recent snow inspired me to pick up a book set in a cold place… and then the weather promptly changed. So while I picked up this romance that takes place in Alaska while it was snowing, I finished it amid 60+ degrees F and sunshine.

Quick Synopsis

Nothing is going as planned on Zoey’s dream vacation to Alaska. But a grumpy local may be able to both turn her vacation around and bring some much needed romance into Zoey’s life.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Curl up with a quirky small-town Alaskan rom-com that’ll leave you laughing over:

  • A grumpy local and the sunny tourist who turns his world upside down
  • A rogue moose who threatens to steal every scene
  • A vacation you’ll never forget
  • And a sweet romance that doesn’t need to scald the pages to burn its way into your heart

He had a strict “no tourists” policy…until she broke all of his rules. 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 parade 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 grumpy local than meets the eye…and more to love in Moose Springs than just the Alaskan wilderness.

This story of Alaska marries together all the things you didn’t realize you needed: a whirlwind vacation, a friendly moose, a grumpy diner owner, a quirky tourist, plenty of restaurant humor, and a happy ending that’ll take you away from it all.

Book Review

I am one of those people that get a bit too excited about books and ends up buying multiple books in a series before having read any book by the author. Usually, I do not regret purchasing additional books in a series. However, I am kicking myself for buying the second Moose Springs, Alaska book after reading The Tourist Attraction. At least I did not also buy the third book?

The Tourist Attraction is a debut romance novel about a woman who takes her dream vacation with a very rich friend to a small town in Alaska. An Alaskan vacation was Zoey’s bucket list trip, which she saved up for years to take. Unfortunately, there are some unexpected obstacles that keep her trip from being a smooth one until our male protagonist – Graham – swoops in to save the day/two-week trip.

I should start by saying that I do not generally appreciate a plot in which a man saves the day, like modern women are helpless beings without agency. But I try to overlook it when this happens in the romance genre. While it irritates me, I acknowledge that some people find it romantic and heart-warming, and so, it is not as taboo of a plot as I want it to be. The problem with The Tourist Attraction is the male protagonist who takes it upon himself to show Zoey, who he is smitten with immediately, a wonderful time.

Graham is possibly my least favorite male romantic interest I have ever encountered, even though he is not necessarily exuding toxic masculinity. He is very aggressive in his pursuit of Zoey. He gives her a pet name within like 5 minutes of meeting her. If that was not enough, every sentence he utters to Zoey includes either “darlin’” or “gorgeous”. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Even if I did not feel like he was infantizing her frequently, this was just too much. How Zoey did not punch him in the face is beyond me and clearly shows the realistic nature of the story. Did I mention that Graham also growls? Seriously, he growls multiple times in the book. If you love pet names, overly masculine love interests, and men eager to get in fist fights, have I found your new book boyfriend.

I was excited to read my first book that takes place in Alaska. But I felt like Sarah Morgenthaler really dropped the ball. Other than stating the town where the story took place and a few mentions of mountains, whales, and ice caves, there was little setting to be immersed in. What is the point of setting the story in Alaska, if you are not even going to describe it? The only real descriptions throughout the book is of how good looking the protagonists are and how slender Zoey’s fingers are (seriously, several times). Even though the dialogue was cringey, I thought The Tourist Attraction had the opportunity to be redeemed a bit by the expository writing. Sadly, this too was a disappointment.

Overall, I really did not enjoy The Tourist Attraction. While I liked the main character and appreciated Morgenthaler having some socioeconomic diversity in the story, the dialogue and male protagonist were just too cringey and over-the-top. If you can look past this, you may enjoy The Tourist Attraction. For me, I will be picking up the next book in the series at some point when I feel like a hate-read.


Overall Rating

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.


Rating: 1 out of 5.


Rating: 2 out of 5.

Character development

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

The Tourist Attraction
(Moose Springs #1)



Publication Date
May 5, 2020


Storygraph Rating
3.50 stars

Goodreads Rating
3.57 stars

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One response to “The Tourist Attraction”

  1. Lol! The paragraph about Graham. Thanks for reading this so I don’t have to. These stories can either be a fun, light read or simply maddening. Thanks!


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