Review: On Location by Sarah Smith

This summer was the summer of National Parks for me! I explored quite a bit of Arizona this summer including The Grand Canyon NP and Saguaro NP along with a number of National Monuments. Then I came home to Oregon and visited Crater Lake NP and am heading the Mt Rainier NP and Olympic NP in Washington later this fall. So when I saw a book that was a travel/work place/vacation romance with National Parks, I was absolutely on board!

This book sounded so promising and I just adore travel romances. Sarah Smith has written a few other romances which I haven’t read but it sounds like the general consensus is this is the best of her romances. So with that in mind I eagerly opened this one and couldn’t wait to get lost in some beautiful landscapes with a sizzling romance.

As I mentioned in a review earlier this week, I have been reading so many historical romances lately that I feel like I need to shift from history to the modern era and read about modern women who fall in love rather than a stuffy old parlor with a crusty chaperone on the fringes. This was just the book that I needed to get me back into modern era romances. I loved the social issues and the characters and of course the settings! It was a great read and I adore Berkley Romances so much that I would eagerly read anything from that publishing house!

Summary

Nothing like a rocky start between enemy coworkers stuck together on location to prove that love isn’t just a ploy for ratings—it’s a force of nature.

Alia Dunn has finally gotten her big break. After years of working her way up at TV’s top outdoor travel channel, she gets the green light from network executives to bring her dream project to life: produce a series about Utah’s national parks. It’s a touching tribute to her late apong, who sparked Alia’s passion for travel and the outdoors as a kid.

Alia is thrilled—until she meets her newest crew member, Drew Irons. The same Drew she had the most amazing first date with two weeks ago—who then ghosted her. The same Drew who has the most deliciously thick forearms and who loves second-guessing her every move on set in front of the entire crew. It’s not long before the tension between them turns hotter than the Utah desert in the dead of summer, and their steamy encounters lead to major feelings.

But when the series host goes rogue one too many times, jeopardizing the entire shoot, Alia realizes that she’ll need to organize one hell of a coup to save her show—and she’ll need Drew’s help to do it. It’s the riskiest move she’s ever made. If she pulls it off, she’ll end up with a hit series and her dream guy . . . but if it all goes wrong, she could lose both (summary from Goodreads)

Review

First of all, this cover captures the essence of this book to perfection. It has the famous Arches NP and the color scheme just screams read me. It’s eye catching and memorable. If I saw it in the bookstore, I would pick it up and buy it, no questions asked! If I didn’t already have plans to visit Arches NP, this book would have made me want to. The descriptions and landscapes of this book were vivid and recalled in such detail. I felt like I was actually there in Arches NP and experiencing it all. If this book doesn’t make you want to get out and explore some of our National Parks then I don’t know what will. It was a great read on this reason alone, I felt transported and like I got to extend my summer vacation inside the pages. Great great great setting. One reviewer called this book ‘a love letter to Utah’s National Parks’ and I absolutely agree. It was wonderful.

The book also delivered on the sizzling romance expectation I had as well. In fact, it was a lot more steamy than I was anticipating. Definitely not a bad thing, I just wasn’t expecting it! I liked the bit of enemies to lovers here but I also liked the added layer of work place romance. Work place romances are so difficult and tedious. There is always a lot at stake for both parties and I think that translated well in this book. I liked how Alia was presented in this one, she might not be a great communicator and maybe she jumped to conclusions a lot but overall I thought she was a solid modern woman who struggled with issues that many working women also struggle with—being taken seriously, work place harassment, equality. I know I felt seen in here character. I may not have loved her but I could identify with her.

The only thing I was missing in this one was the alternating POVs. I love getting to read the male perspective and I didn’t have that in this book. Drew could be a bit annoying at times and him and Alia definitely struggled with communication. I would have liked to have seen things from his POV occasionally. I think this book would have read a little better or perhaps readers would have had a bit more to examine and enjoy with his perspective. But overall it was a find book on it’s own. Alia was a great character and their romance was sultry and magnetic. I loved this book and was so glad that I read it. If you are looking for a contempo romance that brings the heat and the adventure this is it! It was a wonderful read that made me hungry for more adventures and more exploring not to mention all the modern day romance I have been craving!

Book Info and Rating

Format 352 pages, Paperback

Expected publicationSeptember 21, 2021 by Berkley 

LanguageEnglish

Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influence.

Rating: 4 stars

Genre: romance, contempo romance

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