Title: Something Wilder
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Published: May 17, 2022
Format: Netgalley e-ARC, thanks Gallery Books!
“Growing up the daughter of a 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.”
Christina Lauren are one of my favorite duos. I don’t know how they do it, but their books are so fun. This one was a bit different and unique. If you love the Wild West, then I think you will love this one. If you don’t love Westerns, I still think you will enjoy it. It was so fun and fresh!
As I mentioned, this is very different for them! It was a romance wrapped in a mystery, with a treasure hunt. Not only that, but we also have second chance romance, which is always fun. I wasn’t sure how it would work, but they blended it all together very well. In fact, I would go as far as to say, this is less about a romance novel and more about adventure.
One of the things that I really loved about this was the treasure hunt. Figuring out the puzzles and clues was really cool, and I loved how Leo and Lily bonded over it. There’s a group of them that think they are on just a fun adventure, but it quickly turns into more. There’s a moment in this book that had me shocked!! I did not see it coming and that’s impressive with a romance. I loved Nic and Walt so much. Nic was hilarious and Walt was like a teddy bear.
The romance was sweet and was kind of predictable. I was a little bit let down with how much of a backseat their romance takes in this book. Just a heads up for all my romance lovers out there. I am a bit fan of Leo, and he was such a great MC. Another surprising aspect was how quickly the communication between them was. It was so refreshing to see characters actually clear the air early!! Thank you, CL for giving us something unexpected with that!
Overall, this was such a unique and fun read. The pacing was fast and there are several genres that they mashed together. I think it worked really well and the clues were fun. The romance was sweet, even if I wanted a bit more of it. There are some surprising elements and twists that I think readers will also appreciate. It was a great adventure, and I cannot wait to see what they come up with next!!
Many thanks to Gallery Books for a copy of this book via Netgalley. All opinions and thoughts are my own. 🙂