Enjoy the View by Sarah Morganthaler

Title: Enjoy the View (Moose Springs, Alaska #3)
Author: Sarah Morganthaler
Published: January 2021
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Readership: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: ★★.5

I received a copy of Enjoy the View from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A grouchy mountaineer, a Hollywood starlet
And miles of untamed wilderness…
What could possibly go wrong?

Former Hollywood darling River Lane’s acting career is tanking fast. Determined to start fresh behind the camera, she agrees to film a documentary about the picturesque small town of Moose Springs, Alaska. The assignment should have been easy, but the quirky locals want nothing to do with River. Well, too bad: River’s going to make this film and prove herself, no matter what it takes.

Or what (literal) mountain she has to climb.

Easton Lockett may be a gentle giant, but he knows a thing or two about survival. If he can keep everyone in line, he should be able to get River and her crew up and down Mount Veil in one piece. Turns out that’s a big if. The wildlife’s wilder than usual, the camera crew’s determined to wander off a cliff, and the gorgeous actress is fearless. Falling for River only makes Easton’s job tougher, but there’s only so long he can hold out against her brilliant smile. When bad weather strikes, putting everyone at risk, it’ll take all of Easton’s skill to get them back home safely…and convince River she should stay in his arms for good.

I was so excited to read Enjoy the View – so many of my friends have read the series and were talking this one up. Unfortunately it fell flat for me in one critical area, which I’ll discuss below.

The basic premise of the book is that River Lane is an actress attempting to break into directing and producing, starting with producing a documentary on the quintessential town of Moose Springs for the Alaska Tourism Board. The only problem is that the town residents don’t want a bar of it, and River and her team are quickly blacklisted until Easton Lockett suggests they film the scenery – and in particular, a mountain the town is famous for – only to find himself their tour guide. The longer River and Easton spend together, the closer their bond becomes.

Okay, so I’m going to start with the things that I really enjoyed about this book:

I loved the idea of Moose Springs, and a town that has obviously had a lot of tourists, but doesn’t want to actively encourage tourists to be there all the time. The town residents are like family to each other and fiercely protective against outsiders. It sets up a great conflict for the story for which River needs to find some way around.

I also really enjoyed the judicious use of animals at certain points to create levity. From pet dogs dressed up in suits to native critters following them up and down the mountain, that stuff was just plain fun and entertaining – even if it didn’t add much to the overall plot.

What I found increasingly frustrating was River. I said in my Youtube review that it’s very rare for me to dislike a character so intensely – quite often I’m just indifferent – but River swung so far into the ridiculous territory that it made it hard for me to appreciate her. For a while the things she got up to fell into the ridiculous-funny category, until they started preparing to trek up a mountain known for being dangerous enough for people to be injured or killed climbing. At which point the fact that she blatantly ignored and made fun of safety briefings (because she was an ‘expert climber’) and then found herself in a situation that put herself and Easton in an extremely dangerous situation over filming equipment made it less ridiculous-funny and more ‘do you want me to take this character seriously?’ I can appreciate from a plot perspective this was supposed to build tension, but it only left me feeling irritated.

So while the writing style of the book was perfectly fine, in this case it was the characters who let me down. I can understand why so many people like this book, and I truly wish I was one of them, but unfortunately this one just didn’t do it for me this time.

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