Author: Christina Lauren
Audiobook Length: 9 hours 27 minutes
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 my sixth novel by Christina Lauren. As their novels have been hit or miss for me, I was greatly looking forward to seeing what their newest release had to offer. While some of their previous novels have included couples that previously knew each other, this one explores a couple that was romantically involved off page and sees them facing each other again. Another interesting change for this novel is that there is a treasure hunt adventure that is weaved together with the romance story. This novel falls into the “adventure romance” category where the adventure seemed to drive the story more than the typical romcom type set-up. It’s definitely different compared to their other works, but it is something for other readers to keep in mind if the quest-type adventure is not for them.
Lily Wilder is the daughter of Duke Wilder, a treasure hunter and adventurer. When she was in her 20s, she met and fell in love with Leo Grady and had dreams of the two of them ending up together at her family’s ranch in Wyoming. Things did not turn out as she planned, and the story takes place ten years later and Lily is now running Wilder Adventures in Utah. Enter Leo back into Lily’s life when he is a part of her next adventure to find some hidden treasure. Leo is on his annual vacation with his friends from New York while Lily takes the adventure as a chance to find the treasure to buy back her family’s ranch.
Their journey restarts with the two of them reconnecting to find out what went wrong mixed together with city people trying to make it in the wilderness type experiences. As the blurb states, something goes wrong where the two characters must find a way to work together; however, it was not as humorous as the blurb led me to believe. An adventure romance is a very fun genre that I have read and enjoyed before, but I think this novel had a little difficulty in finding that balance. I love that Christina Lauren went in a new direction for their story and tried out a category that is different from their other novels, but I think it needed a little more fine-tuning before it would fully work for me. The premise and the other pieces were all there, but it needed more for the romance as I did not fully connect with it. Even though this novel did not fully work for me, I am still willing to keep trying their novels to find out what they will write next!