Review: Love on Location – Cassidy Carter

Review: Love on Location – Cassidy CarterLove On Location
by Cassidy Carter
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Genres: Romance
Pages: 296
Source: NetGalley

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Maybe what they needed most was there all along…
Delaney Phillips, a divorced mom, works for her longtime best friend Wyatt Andrews at Cabins in the Pines. Wyatt inherited the rustic resort from his father, and both he and Delaney have made countless happy memories there. After a highway bypass leaves it a little too off the beaten path, they’ll do just about anything to keep it open.

At Delaney’s urging, Wyatt auditions for a reality TV program that helps businesses in trouble. The show’s glamorous host arrives with her camera crew, turning the place upside down in hilarious and alarming ways.

But Delaney doesn’t like the woman’s new plans for the business…or her designs on Wyatt. Because even though Delaney’s known him since the first grade, she’s slowly but surely falling in love with him. Can she help him see the cabins—and their relationship—in a different light?

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4 stars icon contemporary icon m/f romance icon

This is such sweet and cozy friends-to-lovers romance!  I’ve generally liked the Hallmark books I’ve read, but I think this one has to be my favorite so far!

“Come to the Cabins in the Pines—beautiful vistas, relaxing, remote location—and hardly any campers!”

Delaney and Wyatt were childhood best friends who grew up together playing at his parent’s campground.  As adults, they’ve reconnected after Delaney moved back with her daughter, Rachel, after her divorce and Wyatt inherited the campground after his parents died in a car accident.  But after a highway bypass went in, the campgrounds are in an out-of-the-way location, leading to less visitors and no money to make necessary improvements, like a website or broken plumbing.  Without Wyatt’s knowledge, Delaney contacts a reality TV show that’s known for overhauling businesses and helping them become profitable.  It seems like a miracle – until the TV show arrives. But the TV show means change, and the revisions the gorgeous host intends may mean losing the Pines forever – and Wyatt with it.  In trying to save the campgrounds, will Delaney and Wyatt ruin their chances at a relationship?

Delaney’s a wonderful character.  Wyatt’s a fan of classic movies and teasingly calls her “his girl Friday” for her problem-solving acumen.  As the office manager, she’s incredibly resourceful and the first person anyone goes to when something goes wrong, always figuring out what the campground can barter when a problem occurs.  For instance, when one of the diner’s refrigerators goes down, she bargains them using extra fridge space for letting a local rancher’s cows graze on the campgrounds.  Though we also get his POV, I found Wyatt a little annoying clueless.  He frequently refers to her as his best friend and his rock since childhood, but is completely oblivious to there being anything else between them.

“Wyatt realized he hadn’t minded having his arm around her, either—and the thought made a slow warmth creep into his chest. As crazy as it was, he let the warmth sit there and expand a bit. Delaney wasn’t his, at least not in any romantic sense. She was his best friend, his right-hand woman, and that was all.
Is that really all?

I loved how the playful best friend banter between Delaney and Wyatt slowly became more flirtatious.  At the start of the book, Delaney’s realized that she has feelings for Wyatt but is reluctant to tell him for fear of ruining their friendship.  Wyatt, as mentioned, is oblivious, but when the filming crew ask him about his relationship with Delaney, he starts questioning whether there could be something more between them.  There was one particular scene that I loved.  Wyatt comes over with a pizza and watches TV with Delaney and her daughter.  It was just such a sweet, normal moment, and I loved seeing that aspect of how they’d become a family.  My usual critique of “behind closed doors” romance is that it requires a lot more skill on the author’s side to convince me of the relationship, and I think Ms. Carter did that wonderfully.

As for cons, I’m not a big fan of other women/jealousy subplots, and there is one with Alex, the star of the reality show.  I never quite got her motivation for it, and Alex is a bit of mercurial character, acting one way with Delaney and another in front of the cameras. I’m also not a big fan of reality TV shows (which is hilarious, because the last Hallmark book I read also had a TV show component) but I worried the author would choose to make the TV crew jaded and mean compared to our scrappy country heroes, but it luckily avoided that.  In contrast, I adored the campground staff.  They’re more than just coworkers – they’re a family who loves each other and the campgrounds.  They all seemed well-characterized to me, and I loved the little side romance between a TV crew person and the diner’s cook.

Overall, I thought this book was sweet and heartwarming, exactly what you’d expect from a Hallmark book.  If you like bestfriends-to-lovers, reality TV shows, or just want to read something cozy, I’d definitely recommend this book!

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