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.
“I guess I was wrong. ‘How are you’ isn’t an easier place to start.”
Did I drop everything and read this book once it was released? Yes, yes I absolutely did.
I don’t think I’ve ever used the adjectives exciting/thrilling to describe a Christina Lauren book but that’s exactly how I would describe Something Wilder. Christina Lauren stay true to what they write best – romantic comedy – but they’ve also given this book something fresh (i.e. the adventure and treasure hunting) to make it more unique than their other books. I love that they’re experimenting with their writing while still making sure that it’s undoubtedly a Christina Lauren book.
I think there’s a good balance between the romance and adventure. I do wish the book talked more about how Lily and Leo’s relationship developed because it just sounds really cute from the snippets that was included. It seemed like Leo had to win Lily over and based on how they are, I bet that would be enjoyable to read, too. With that said, the chemistry is certainly on point. The moment leading up to them seeing each other again just had me so giddy.
There is that one part which I thought should have been treated as a bigger plot point but like, it happened, a little squabble, then the characters were like okay, we’ll do this, and then that was it. (That’s very vague but I don’t want to spoil it.)
Leo Grady, you smooth talker.
“I think the problem is that I’m not the kind of person to fall in and out of love . . . I mean, I fell in love once and stayed there.”
I can see why Lily fell for his charms. Speaking of Lily, you can’t hate her. She’s just great!
Out of all the good reasons to read this book, I think you should read it because of Walter Gibb. I just want everyone to “meet” Walter Gibb.
“You’re a sweetheart, Walt. Don’t let Nicole into your pants.”
(Get in there, Nicole! 😂)
Overall, I binged and enjoyed this book and this is definitely “Wilder.” I don’t know what Christina Lauren is working on right now but I definitely can’t wait for the next book from my rom-com queens.
Category/Genre(s): Adult, Contemporary Romance, Adventure
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: May 17, 2022