Wilder at Last
(Wilder Adventures, #5)
Publication date: February 7th 2023
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
Falling in love with my frenemy? Out of the question.
Easton: For as long as I can remember, I’ve been giving Hanna a hard time—and she’s been giving it right back. So we’re both shocked to find ourselves on the same side of a project: helping Hanna win the heart of the celebrity chef hired by my family’s business to give summer workshops.
It shouldn’t be a big deal. A wardrobe evaluation. A shopping trip. Maybe some how-to-get-the-guy advice. I’m an expert on matters of the heart—or, at least matters of the mattress.
But as Hanna starts to trust me and open up, I see her differently. She’s not so much blunt as refreshingly honest, not so much a plain Jane in baggy clothes as… deliciously curvy. And hidden under that spiky, steely exterior is a soft heart she doesn’t show anyone.
Suddenly, the project includes ogling Hanna in dressing room mirrors. Offering her kissing lessons. And desperately trying not to give in to the sizzling heat between us.
I have to let her know the plan has changed: I’ll still help her get the guy she wants. I just need to somehow convince her that it’s me.
A steamy, opposites-attract, enemies-to-lovers (or is it friends-to-lovers? So hard to tell with these two!), mountain man small-town rom com.
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“If I admit I have a crush, will you help me?”
Hanna stands in front of me inside Wilder headquarters a few days after the first Bear trip, arms crossed over one of her ubiquitous baggy sweatshirts. That woman has more baggy sweatshirts than a Walmart.
We’re the last two people left at headquarters tonight. I don’t know what she’s still doing here, but I’m finishing up some paperwork for Bear’s trip. Celebrities don’t have to do their own paperwork.
“What are you talking about?” I ask.
“If I admit I have a crush on Bear Warden, will you help me get the guy?”
“I’m going to pinch myself right now, because if you’re asking me for help, I’m definitely dreaming.”
“You’re not dreaming,” she informs me. “But if you want me to pinch you—”
“Not necessary!” I say, jumping out of her reach. “But I would like you to say the humiliating part again. About how you have a terrible, mad, soul-wrenching crush—”
“I didn’t say any of that.”
“And only I, Easton Wilder, can help you win him over and live happily ever after.”
“Fine,” she says. “I have a terrible, mad, soul-wrenching crush, and only you, Easton Panty-Melter Wilder, have the expertise in lurrrrrvvvving to help me find my way to bliss.”
“That wasn’t quite as satisfying as I’d hoped,” I admit. In fact, the word bliss in conjunction with Bear makes me strangely itchy.
“Seriously, Easton, help me.”
“Help you what?”
“Woo Bear. Get laid.”
“That’s it? That’s your highest aspiration? From the way you were looking at him, I thought it was going to be more like a white wedding and four-point-five kids.”
“Why are kids always measured in halves? It’s so awful to contemplate. Which half would you get?”
“True,” she admits.
“You want more than just to have sex with him.”
She scrunches up her whole face—oddly cute—and then relaxes it. “Look,” she says, pointing a finger at me. “I think you know I’ve been on a few dates this year.”
“Rumor had reached me, yes.”
“And that means you probably know that they haven’t been a rip-roaring success.”
In the interest of honesty, I say, “Um. Yeah.”
“Not to get into the nitty-gritty details, but they basically break down into two categories. People who are secretly married, and people who are totally and completely unacceptable for coffee and a sticky bun, let along marriage and procreation.”
“So. Un. Fun.”
“Here’s the thing. I like Bear. I like him a lot. He’s…”
She hesitates, and I’m a hundred percent sure I don’t want her to finish the sentence, although I’m not sure how I know.
Yeah, didn’t need that sentence finished.
USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell writes contemporary romance with heat, heart, and humor. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen carefully, and you can often find her scribbling in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head.
Serena’s books have earned many honors, including an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Apple Books Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Year for Romance.
When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of how often she changes her hobbies and how passionately she embraces the new ones. These days, it’s stand-up paddle boarding, board-gaming, meditation, and long walks with good friends.
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