Title: Something Wild & Wonderful
Author: Anita Kelly
Publication Date: March 7, 2023
Themes: Hiking, Cross Country Hiking, Coming Out, MM Romance, Unsupportive Parents, Homophobia, Religion, Self-Discovery, PCT
From the author of Love & Other Disasters comes a sparkling grumpy-meets-sunshine romance featuring two men’s sweeping journey across the Western wilderness.
Alexei Lebedev’s journey on the Pacific Crest Trail begins with a single snake. And it is angling for the hot stranger who seemed to have appeared out of thin air. Lex is prepared for rattlesnakes, blisters, and months of solitude. What he isn’t prepared for is Ben Caravalho. But somehow—on a 2,500-mile trail—Alexei keeps running into the outgoing and charismatic hiker with golden-brown eyes, again and again. It might be coincidence. Then again, maybe there’s a reason the trail keeps bringing them together . . .
Ben has made his fair share of bad decisions, and almost all of them involved beautiful men. And yet there’s something about the gorgeous and quietly nerdy Alexei that Ben can’t just walk away from. Surely a bad decision can’t be this cute and smart. And there are worse things than falling in love during the biggest adventure of your life. But when their plans for the future are turned upside down, Ben and Alexei begin to wonder if it’s possible to hold on to something this wild and wonderful.
Thank you to NetGalley for an eARC of this book and the author for an ARC copy.
Anita Kelly is one of those authors that I just adore. Every book I read by Kelly has something magical about it and makes me love it. For starters I LOVED the setting. While I enjoy the outdoors and would do a nice hike in the summer there is no way I would do through hiking like this. However I adored reading about the setting and the PCT experience. The setting was just so vividly laid out and made me feel like I was in the wild with Alexei and Ben.
The other thing I loved about this is how soft and sweet it was, but not in a sickly way. I love soft romances that aren’t completely full of drama and angst, but there was a lot of trauma and emotional things to work through for both Ben and Alexei. I loved that they were both dealing with things and trying to figure out thier lives and what they want to do about what they’re dealing with.
I really loved Alexei and how he was working through his feelings and trauma on the hike. It was really sweet to see him and Ben get close and open up to each other. Also the letters! I’m not spoiling anything but dang, what a hit to the system! They were so sweet and sad at the same time. I loved it all. I also really loved how Alexei learned more about himself and found out he was autistic. It was really cool seeing him grow and understand himself better, plus find somewhere and people that make him feel happy and safe.
Rating: 5/5 stars