cover image The Tourist Attraction

The Tourist Attraction

Sarah Morgenthaler. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $14.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-7282-1048-3

A grumpy diner owner and an adventurous waitress on her first vacation in years develop unexpected feelings in Morgenthaler’s thoroughly entertaining debut. Graham Barnett hates running the Tourist Trap, his popular Moose Springs, Alas., establishment famous both for the gimmicky menu items (“Growly Bear” drinks and “reindeer dogs”) and Graham’s surly behavior, which the wealthy visitors to the nearby resort find inexplicably charming. He would much prefer to spend his time working on his chain saw sculptures. But as soon as he locks eyes with the “adorably dorky” Zoey Caldwell, who’s saved up tip money for years for a two-week Alaskan adventure, Graham puts aside both art and business to spend time with her as her tour guide. Though their relationship hits an early hurdle when Zoey mistakes a chainsaw-wielding Graham for a murderer and kicks him in the groin, the chemistry between the two builds at a satisfying pace. Morgenthaler’s descriptions of the scenery are majestic, and her delineation of the friction between the townspeople and the tourists is well done. The quirky supporting characters, including a truck-humping moose, add charm. This sweet, funny tale is sure to win Morgenthaler many fans. Agent: Sara Megibow, KT Literary. (May)