A daughter of a notorious treasure hunter guides a group of tourists, that happens to include a former flame, on a fake treasure hunt.
Growing up the daughter of notorious treasure hunter and absentee father Duke Wilder left Lily without much patience for the profession…or much money in the bank. But Lily is nothing if not resourceful, and now uses Duke’s coveted hand-drawn maps to guide tourists on fake treasure hunts through the red rock canyons of Utah. It pays the bills but doesn’t leave enough to fulfill her dream of buying back the beloved ranch her father sold years ago, and definitely not enough to deal with the sight of the man she once loved walking back into her life with a motley crew of friends ready to hit the trails. Frankly, Lily would like to take him out into the wilderness—and leave him there.
Leo Grady knew mirages were a thing in the desert, but they’d barely left civilization when the silhouette of his greatest regret comes into focus in the flickering light of the campfire. Ready to leave the past behind him, Leo wants nothing more than to reconnect with his first and only love. Unfortunately, Lily Wilder is all business, drawing a clear line in the sand: it’s never going to happen.
But when the trip goes horribly and hilariously wrong, the group wonders if maybe the legend of the hidden treasure wasn’t a gimmick after all. There’s a chance to right the wrongs—of Duke’s past and their own—but only if Leo and Lily can confront their history and work together. Alone under the stars in the isolated and dangerous mazes of the Canyonlands, Leo and Lily must decide whether they’ll risk their lives and hearts on the adventure of a lifetime.
From the author of the “heartfelt and funny” (Publishers Weekly) sensation The Unhoneymooners, this page-turning adventure full of second chances, complicated relationships, and the breathtaking beauty of the American Southwest will take fans on one wild ride.
Something Wilder is a second-chance romance and an adventure book combined into one by the infamous writing duo Christina Lauren. In the authors’ note, the writers explained that they wanted to write “a fun, swoon-filled escape from the real world.” I think that they mostly delivered just this.
I was all in for the adventure of this book. I liked the treasure hunt aspect and being surprised by a few unexpected events within the story. It definitely check the box of escaping from the real world. I may have also been inspired to go on such an adventure myself but definitely not in the desert in the summer.
Surprisingly, I thought that Something Wilder was a little short on romance. I find that sometimes second-chance romances rely heavily on the prior romance that happens pre-book with only brief flashbacks. For me, this leaves out the build-up and underlying reasons why the two people are attracted to one another. There was a lot of lusting once the couple was reunited, but I prefer a bit more substance as a foundation to a romance. It is the demisexual in me. 🤷♀️
The writing in Something Wilder was typical of Christina Lauren and enjoyable. I liked the characters I was supposed to like and disliked those that were supposed to be villains. As with any book, I enjoyed the fierce, independent women found within the pages.
Overall, I enjoyed Something Wilder as an adventure book and less so as a romance. I still think it is absolutely worth a read, especially if you are looking for a romance that is a bit different.
May 17, 2022