The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Calla Fletcher was 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 her father reaches out to inform her that his days are numbered, Calla 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 new subarctic environment, Jonah—the quiet, brooding, and proud Alaskan pilot who keeps 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. As time passes, she unexpectedly finds herself forming a 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.
This. This. And a million times THIS. THE SIMPLE WILD is exactly what I expected every single time I saw people raving about K.A. Tucker’s books. I finally get all the hype and now I can say it is well-deserved. I had only read one book by her before picking up this one—in my defense, it was a romantic suspense—so I knew she was good but if I’m being brutally honest, I didn’t consider her extraordinary. Now I want to eat all of those thoughts/words because she really is on another level of amazing. If only y’all could see my reactions while I was reading this gorgeous story, I bet all of you would want to pick it up right away and I also wouldn’t have to sit here for hours trying to gather my messy thoughts but that’s not possible now that my tears are all dried up so let’s move on.
It is usually hard for me to find an enemies-to-lovers romance that grips me from the first page to the last page because I loathe when the “hate” part is clearly not hate at all and the characters are just being proud and petty and feeling attraction based on their looks alone. I like when two characters start off truly not getting along but as they slowly get to know each other their feelings start to change and they start to discover their chemistry and attraction towards the other person. The latter is exactly what K.A. Tucker gave me in this book. She gave me Calla and Jonah, two completely different characters who started off bickering and teasing each other than slowly started falling for each other. Even when they weren’t getting along the pull and tension between them was palpable, which made the story even more exciting. Being able to see how their relationship slowly progressed was incredible. I loved their love!!
Aside from containing the most adorable and slow-paced enemies-to-lovers romance story in the history of romance stories, THE SIMPLE WILD is also a complex story about family bonds, home, Alaska and letting go. The story focuses a lot on Calla’s relationship with her father, who hasn’t been in her life for… pretty much all of it. Aside from a couple of calls, they never really stayed in touch so there’s a lot of emotions and things they figure out throughout the story. It is very heartfelt and full of emotion.
I can tell y’all right now this book is going to be on my list of favorite books of 2023. Mark my words. It couldn’t put it down. It made me grin, frown, swoon and cry, cry, cry. It had my heart dropping, then beating like crazy and my stomach all up in knots. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s wonderful.
K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge. She is the bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series and the novels He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, and Keep Her Safe. She currently resides in a quaint town outside Toronto with her husband and two beautiful girls.