published: 19th January 2021
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.
Galley provided by publisher
Do you ever have the experience of hating a character, or the actions of a character, so much that you are compelled to rate a book only a single star? That’s what happened to me here. I mean, I wasn’t really loving the book before that point, to say the least, so it’s not like it ruined it for me. But, God, if it didn’t irritate me no end.
First up, a little rundown of the story. River wants to film a tourism documentary in Moose Springs, Alaska. However, the residents of Moose Springs, Alaska have some inexplicable (although probably explicable if I had read the previous books) vendetta against tourists and so go out of their way to make life difficult for her. So, she decides instead to film a climb up a nearby mountain. Which is led by Easton (who had been introduced earlier, but for the purposes of this summary, it’s not relevant). So, Easton takes River and her crew (who thankfully have a little bit of climbing experience, though not quite enough, as we shall see), along with another guide for reasons which shall be explained because they particularly frustrated me, up the mountain.
And obviously, they fall in love on the way.
So, which character ruined this book for me? Well, that would be River.
Full disclosure, I wasn’t River’s biggest fan from the moment she appeared on the page. But I thought, hey, maybe I can come to like her. She’s not unsalvageable.
First of all, you would think that, if you’re going up a mountain that has a notable mortality rate, you would listen to your guide. You would not do anything your guide does not want you to do. But no! River has to do her own thing! She has to bring a load of camera equipment that would weigh down their baggage. She has to do it without telling Easton first, so Easton cannot re-evaluate his plans. Then, she has to unclip herself from a line to rescue said camera equipment and thus almost fall off the mountain and die.
And then, when her colleagues cannot continue, she has to make the decision that, no, she must reach the summit. She cannot possibly go down now. And Easton, being in love with her, agrees. Like a fool.
Basically, River just doesn’t take no from an answer, not even a ‘no’ from an expert. Not even when her life is at risk. And that’s the primary reason I couldn’t stand her. The whole “won’t take no for an answer, is determined to get her job done and is ambitious” schtick would have worked…were it not for the fact that she was climbing a mountain, with an aforementioned mortality rate.
Like I said earlier though: I wasn’t exactly loving this book before all this happened. It was a little bland for me, and I didn’t really see anything to root for in the romance. In fact, I was more rooting for River and her colleagues to get summarily blocked from doing anything in the town. And yes, all of this was probably coloured by my not-exactly-positive feelings towards River from the start. Ones which, I feel, could have been redeemed.
Only they weren’t.
And here we are.
So, in conclusion, you have no idea the number of swear words I had to delete from this review.