“Something Wilder” is a Wild Adventure I Didn’t Expect

Cover image courtesy of Goodreads. Image edited in Canva.

(Full disclosure: This post uses Bookshop.org affiliate links).

When I selected Christina Lauren’s latest book, Something Wilder, as the audiobook for my 5+ hour drive to Virginia, I thought I’d get a fun romance with a little bit of horseback riding. I knew I liked their style from previous books (I adored In a Holidaze and The Soulmate Equation). They usually add a fun twist to their romances, which I appreciate.

I did not anticipate the absolutely gripping adventure story that is Something Wilder. But it turned out to be the perfect read for keeping me entertained on my longest solo drive in many years. 

Something Wilder tells the story of Lily Wilder and Leo Grady, who fell in love one summer on Lily’s family ranch. Circumstances sent Leo back to New York and the two fell out of communication. Ten years went by with neither of them living the life they expected (or wanted). 

When Leo’s friend Bradley books a trip with Lily’s company, Wilder Adventures, the two unexpectedly reunite on a desert excursion. Sparks fly as they try to battle past hurts and their lasting attraction to one another. But not everyone is who they seem to be, and the pre-planned fake adventure might just turn into something real — and really dangerous. 

What I Liked

First off, just all the shoutouts to the narrators for the audio version of this book. Such a stellar performance from both of them that really made the story leap off the page, and I highly recommend this version of the book if you’re an audiobook fan. 

The storyline has plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing and wondering what was going to happen next. This book has much more of an action adventure focus than I expected, but for me, that was a good thing as it kept me engaged on my long drive. 

The romance is believable, and one of the rare times I can get behind a second chance romance. Both characters made some mistakes, but they were understandable mistakes especially given how young they were at the time.

I loved the characters we were supposed to love and disliked the ones we were supposed to dislike. For the most part, they felt real and rounded out and believable, with a few notable exceptions (see below). 

What I Didn’t Like

At a few times, I did pause to wonder about portrayals of certain characters and events. There’s a somewhat light treatment of some serious events, but when you consider the action adventure genre, it does fit right in with what you’d see in a Western or similar movies. 

I’m still not entirely sure how to feel about some of these aspects of the book, but then I wondered whether I’d have thought about it at all if this was another movie written by men for men. I think it was all pretty standard stuff for an action adventure story, but I don’t seek them out very often so it felt unusual. 

In all, Something Wilder was the perfect book for my road trip! It made the miles fly by as I was so engaged in the exciting story waiting to see what would happen next. 

I recommend this book to fans of the Indiana Jones movies and similar action adventure stories, as well as anyone who enjoys second chance romance with a twist. I’d say this is a little more heavy on the adventure aspect with the romance as a current throughout it, so it’s a fit for readers who enjoy both genres. 

(This post was originally published on our Medium site).


8 thoughts on ““Something Wilder” is a Wild Adventure I Didn’t Expect

  1. Wonderful review, AmandaKay. It was definitely different from their other books, but I agree, it was still enjoyable. I liked the adventure aspect, but missed their wonderful humor.

  2. I have seen several reviews that was not happy with THAT event in the story and the way it was dealt with. I think I was just so swept away by the rest of it — the romance, the action, the history, that I was able to let it slide.

  3. I enjoyed this book very much. I know the area it is set in fairly well, so I think that added to my enjoyment too.

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