Something Wild & Wonderful (Paperback)
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.
Originally from a small town in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, Anita Kelly now lives in the Pacific Northwest with their family. A teen librarian by day, they write romance that celebrates queer love in all its infinite possibilities. Whenever not reading or writing, they’re drinking too much tea, taking pictures, and dreaming of their next walk in the woods. They hope you get to pet a dog today.
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"A gorgeous, curative read about the new identities people create by giving themselves permission to heal from the pain of the past and what can be discovered as they immerse themselves in the vast, untamed, wonderful wilderness. A deeply satisfying, romantic story worth getting lost in."—Kirkus
“Brimming with tenderness, hope, humor, and healing, this romance is truly something wild and wonderful. A must-read for those looking for stories with a big heart.”—Ashley Herring Blake, author of Astrid Parker Doesn't Fail
"Something Wild & Wonderful is my favorite kind of romance, a tender, achingly beautiful journey of love and healing—harrowing passages through grief, thrilling ascents of growth, that glorious vista of recognition that these two people are exactly where they're supposed to be, exactly as they are, learning to love themselves, to love another, to let themselves be loved, too."—Chloe Liese, author of Two Wrongs Make a Right
“I can’t get enough of Anita Kelly’s writing. As I followed Ben and Alexei on their journey, I was enthralled by the palpable care and tenderness that went into both the tiniest details and the most sweeping emotions, creating a stunning romance that feels epic and intimate all at once. Something Wild & Wonderful made my heart ache in the best way possible.”—Ava Wilder, author of How to Fake it in Hollywood
"A heart-tugging triumph! Every step Ben and Alexei take on the Pacific Coast Trail reverberates with vulnerability, adventure, and sweaty, crackling tension. Something Wild & Wonderful is the rare romance where the characters feel like new friends and also kindred souls you've known your whole life. Kelly never fails to bring the perfect combination of humor, swoons, and grounded emotion."—Timothy Janovsky, author of Never Been Kissed
"Filled with unforgettable and shimmering moments of hope, bravery, and the reminder to live life as authentically as possible, Anita Kelly’s Something Wild & Wonderful overflows with a soft but undeniably sexy tenderness – one that shines with the magic of falling in love on your own terms."—Chip Pons
“Kelly crafts an absolutely engrossing love story... It's a celebration of living our lives fully as ourselves—the courage that requires but also the abundant rewards. Can you give a book a Michelin star? A+”—Entertainment Weekly on Love & Other Disasters
"A delicious confection of a story: savory, succulent and also a bit salty in spots...The only bad thing about this book is that even after you’ve gorged on the whole thing, it’ll leave you wanting more."—Bookpage, starred review on Love & Other Disasters
"This chef’s-kiss debut that brilliantly explores the idea of being true to yourself with insight and compassion. In between all the deliciously snarky wit, simmering sexual chemistry, romantic yearning, and quippy banter, Kelly also delivers some moments of romantic hope and happiness that will long resonate with readers."—Booklist, starred review on Love & Other Disasters
“Kelly will whet your appetite from the first page, capping off the wonderful feast with the absolute sweetest of happy-ever-afters.”—Kirkus, starred review on Love & Other Disasters
"A stunning debut."—Library Journal, starred review on Love & Other Disasters
"This debut is delicious in every way."—Buzzfeed Books
"Love & Other Disasters is by turns funny, sweet and hot, but Anita Kelly's emotional river runs deep--this romance will stay with readers long after they've turned the last page. A deeply emotional yet buoyant romantic comedy about finding love and self."—Shelf Awareness
“A sweet debut… a nonbinary protagonist in a mainstream romance is cause for excitement and the characters spark with chemistry. The heartwarming result will leave readers eager for more from Kelly.”—Publishers Weekly on Love & Other Disasters
"Sweet and sexy and wholly delicious. I'm head over heels for these two delightful disasters—three if you count Dahlia's magnificent hair as a separate character. Anita Kelly writes with tremendous warmth and care, and these pages shine with joy."—Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of The Ex Talk
"With only one book, Anita Kelly has landed among my all-time favorite authors."—Meryl Wilsner, author of Something to Talk About
“Kelly writes wildly charming, exquisitely vibrant, and achingly tender prose and has a unique gift for making readers feel safe, loved, and understood within her pages. This story is both fantastically fun and crack your heart wide open vulnerable. I can’t wait to buy it for everyone I’ve ever met.” —Rosie Danan, author of The Roommate