Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: May 27, 2022
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 was really looking forward to Something Wilder, but it ended up being a slight disappointment.
Something Wilder is billed as a romance however the focus of the novel is more on the treasure hunt rather than Lily and Leo’s recoupling. I would have enjoyed the novel more had 10 years not passed between Lily and Leo before they reconnected. The strong feelings Lily and Leo have for each other after so much time apart felt unrealistic as they just fell into each other despite the explanation. Lily and Leo also had little to no chemistry throughout the novel as Lauren relied too heavily on their past relationship.
The setting of Something Wilder felt real and it’s clear from the beginning until the end, the authors’ research paid off even with the caveat that it may not be 100% accurate to the terrain. The setting and treasure hunt aspect of the novel is what initially interested me.
I loved the twists and turns near the end of the novel. I didn’t see any of them coming. However, I will say that Leo played a bigger role in the treasure hunt than I would have liked considering the novel’s focus on Lily and her father’s difficult relationship.
Overall, Something Wilder ended up being a disappointment because of its lackluster romance and missed opportunity to bring Lily and her father’s relationship full circle.
Have you read Something Wilder? What did you think?