Published by Atria on August 7th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Atria, Netgalley
Buy on Amazon
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.
THE SIMPLE WILD
by K.A. Tucker
We are living in a time in which everything in our life is rushed. We focus on things we deem essential to our lives, smart phones, computers, the newest cars, the most beautiful houses. You know what THE SIMPLE WILD did to me? It gave me perspective. After reading this powerful story I feel the urge to decelerate. To strip MYSELF down to the essential and just be.
Twenty-four years ago Calla’s mom left Alaska and the love of her life behind. She tried. She really tried to make a go of it but the stark beauty of it depressed her rather than exhilarated. She packed herself and her two year old daughter and went home. Calla, now twenty-six, receives a phone call from the past she can hardly remember. Going back to Alaska, to the man who fathered her, who she hasn’t talked to in more than a decade – it’s not an easy decision to make. Too much hurts the disappointment, being let down by her dad, still, after all this time. Yet, there is no better time than now, so she goes on a journey to reclaim her past.
Calla is young woman whose most important struggles are what to wear, which make-up to apply, which picture to post on her and her bestie’s blog. Being confronted with the bleakness of her dad’s hometown is a new struggle at first. Through her eyes we see the landscape turn from barren to stunning and gorgeous. This is where the magic happens: when the setting of a story becomes a character in it. I adored KA Tucker’s descriptions of the untamed, rough Alaskan beauty so much. I’ve always wanted to go there but now I feel an even stronger pull.
While Calla gets to know her dad again you see a distinct growth. You know she won’t leave as the same person she arrived as, the spoiled young woman who has been living in abundance. Alaska strips her off the plenty and gives her the kind of softness that comes when you fall in love with a country and its people. She finds out that she’s more her father’s daughter than she thought she was.
Talk about Wren, he was a wonderful, beautiful, flawed character who so wanted to do right be his loved ones but just couldn’t leave his skin he was born in. He had a gentleness, quiet and wisdom about him that drew people to him instead of repelling them. When all the truths came to light, his sacrifices, heart flew to him.
It turns out he is the man on the other side of the phone, listening to me prattle in childish wonder. He’s exactly who I wanted him to be, despite all his flaws, and all the pain he caused.
Jonah is the guy who pulls a girl’s piggy tails if he likes her. It’s exactly what the rugged bush pilot does with Calla. I laughed at his antics, the way she got her revenge, his teasing personality. He was a jerk in the beginning but he soon realized that the lost daughter was made of sturdier stuff and that he didn’t know all of the history between father and daughter. I loved the contrast between his teases and his tender and loving side.
My limbs curl around his body as I watch his broad chest heave with each thrust, and his hooded eyes alight with fire, our gazes locked, and I wonder how on earth I could ever possibly have not wanted this man.
The Simple Wild is powerful, emotional and a little sad at times (yeah, I cried) but also full of love and laughter. I take lessons away from it, the loudest message of it being to live more in the moment and not to get stuck in the past you can’t change, to appreciate the commodities we have but also to grab my smartphone that one time a day less and enjoy my surroundings more. I have K.A. Tucker to thank for that.
“You should have called him. He should have called you. Your mom should never have left. Wren should have left Alaska for you. Who the hell knows what’s right, and what it would have led to, but it doesn’t matter because you can’t change any of that.”