Book Reviews: Something Wilder, Before I Do, Hook Line and Sinker & The Love Connection

Something Wilder by Christina Lauren

Goodreads blurb: 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.

My take: 3 out of 5. This was a disappointing rating. It’s disappointing totally based out of expectations. Christina Lauren Expectations are very high in this blog and this book didn’t fully do it for me as some of her past ones have like Holidaze and Josh and Hazels guide to not dating. The issue for me here was that it was more a Westerns with a love story than a true rom-com and it was not what I was hoping for in the book. It’s entertaining, and it has some sweet points but some of the crazy antics of their quest just left me underwhelm. However if you are a western lover this might be the book for you.

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

Goodreads blurb: King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he’s a guaranteed good time–in bed and out–and that’s exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.

Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom. She knows he’s a notorious ladies’ man, but they’re definitely just friends. In fact, she’s nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport’s resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker’s eye… yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can’t deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost. Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she’s walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and… and… man overboard! He’s fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he’s all in, she’ll choose him instead?

My take: 3.5 out of 5. I never like to leave something unfinished. I wasn’t a huge fan of It Happened on Summer, but one of the best parts of it was the Hannah/Fox back and forth so I fell and read this one. I liked it so much more that the previous one ,and bonus points Piper doesnt even appear that much. Both characters are extremely flawed and likeable and their journey is one that you can get behind.

Before I do by Sophie Cousens

Goodreads blurb: What would you do if ‘the one that got away’ turned up the night before your wedding?

Head-in-the-stars Audrey is about to marry down-to-earth Josh. Though they are polar opposites, they have a healthy, stable relationship; Josh is just what Audrey needs. But romance should be unpredictable and full of fireworks, and as the big day approaches, Audrey’s found herself wondering if Josh really is The One. So, when Josh’s sister shows up to the rehearsal dinner with Fred, Audrey’s What If? guy–the man she met six years ago and had one amazing day with–Audrey finds herself torn. Surely Fred’s appearance the night before she is due to get married can’t be a coincidence. And when everything that could go wrong with the wedding starts to go wrong, Audrey has to ask herself: Is fate trying to stop her from making a huge mistake? Or does destiny just have a really twisty sense of humour?

This is an ARC review thanks to a gift from the publisher, the book comes out October 11th, 2022

My take: 4 out of 5. This was a delightful book to read. It had the back and forth timeline that is very characteristic of Sophie Cousens that is really interesting but also helps build up the tension in a very cool way. I love how this was not predictable at all and its a beautiful exploration of both characters and relationships. If you love her past books: This time Next Year and I haven’t Met you Yet which I did, do not miss this! It’s not as good as the first two but it is very close up there

bonus: The Love Connection by Denise Williams

Goodreads blurb: Ollie Wright loves the thrill of taking chances, like opening a pet grooming salon in an airport where every day is a little unpredictable. The one thing she won’t risk is her heart, so catching glimpses of a cute stranger from afar is enough romantic entanglement for her. Bennett Baker is a professional risk assessor by day while writing popular romance novels at night, except he finds himself facing writer’s block. His life of carefully planned stability comes crashing down when he rescues a slippery pup in the airport and returns it to the enchanting pet groomer whose laugh inspires him to start writing again. Their chance encounter and instant chemistry thrusts them into a whirlwind of airport dates at pretzel kiosks, stolen glances at empty gates, and late-night texts that leave them swooning. If the risk-adverse Bennett can take a chance on uncertainty and adventurous Ollie will break her own rule, their relationship might stop taxiing and actually take off.

My take: 3.5 out of 5. This is a novella, not a full book but its by one of my favorite current writers so i figured I had to read it! ITs cute, its fun, you read it in 2 hours, but it doesn’t go much further than that. What I did love was a the setting – airport meet cutes are totally my jam, and having a male romance writer be the protagonist was quite a fun twist!

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