The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.
She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.
Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.
Alright y’all, I’ll see you later. On my way to Alaska to find me a bush pilot named Jonah…
Not really, but I wish. Now on to my review:
I wanted to do a reread of this book, the minute I put it down. It is officially one of my top favorite reads of the year. This story was such a wonderful mix of humor and emotion. I actually found it much more emotional than I was expecting. The banter was seriously off the charts. It’s honestly the best banter between characters I’ve read all year, maybe ever. And the banter between the hero and the heroine in a book is one of my favorite things.
I’ll admit that it took me a few chapters to warm up to our heroine Calla. She is extremely privileged, living at her mom’s and stepdad’s extremely lovely home rent free, her mother gets food and meals delivered, and a maid comes multiple times a week. With all those living expenses paid for, she’s able to spend all that extra money on luxuries like clothes and beauty products. She has grown up accustomed to certain luxuries and doesn’t really give them a second thought nor realizes that they’re luxuries, not necessities.
Callas has an estranged relationship with her father. When she was just a toddler, her mother left Alaska while her father stayed behind. They tried to stay in touch, but when Calla is in middle school, her father cancels plans to come to see her effectively severing what little was left of their relationship. Years past, and when Calla learns that he has cancer, she decides she’ll regret it if she doesn’t fly out to Alaska and see him. It’s only supposed to be for a week, but of course, well-laid plans never seem to go unchanged.
While in Bangor (the almost-middle-of-nowhere town where her father lives and works) we meet a cast of characters. From Agnes to Mabel, Ethel to Bandit the raccoon, Calla slowly realizes that family doesn’t always mean you share the same blood.
We also meet Jonah. Who I honestly loved right from the start. His quick quips were literally the best and his unabashed caring heart, even if sometimes he went about it the wrong way, leaped off the page. He is 100% swoon-worthy even with his faults.
Calla learns a lot about herself and what she’s capable of during her time in Alaska. The book is about much more than her and Jonah falling for each other. It’s about love, loyalty, community, and above all family.
Tucker’s writing pulls you in from the first page. If you are looking to dip your toe into the romance genre, this would be a great book to do that with. I’d call it a mix between romance and women’s fiction. Yes, there’s a central love story, but it is also about Calla’s journey. If you’re curious about the more intimate scenes between our hero and heroine, they’re what I’d classify as mildly steamy; somewhere between open and closed door.
This book is a great summer read, as well as fall, winter, or spring. Read it on a plane, on a beach, at home, or on the subway. However or whenever, it is a worthy and must-read story. And be sure to let me know if you want to plan a trip to Alaska with me. We can search for our very own bush pilots.
I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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MEET THE AUTHOR: K.A. TUCKER
K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.
She is the USA Today bestselling author of 17 books, including the Causal Enchantment, Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, and her upcoming contemporary fiction, The Simple Wild. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly.
K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband and two beautiful girls.