The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker. Review. Buddy read of a slow burn romance.

 Synopsis

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.

 

Review

 

4,5 “slow burn romance” stars

 

When my friend Nikki Sex mailed me with “You NEED to read this book” and chatted after at how she found it so great, it picked my attention. And well yes, I promised her that I would read it by the end of the year. When some days later Sarah and Tracey showed interest in reading the book with me, it was the proverbial kick in the behind that I so needed to finally take action!

Verdict? We all three had a blast!

And our group chat was so interesting and motivating that you’ll find some of its spirit in this review!

 

What’s this book about in a tiny nutshell?

It’s about city girl Calla going to wild Alaska as her estranged dad got cancer. I am oversimplifying here but let’s say that to get there she’ll go on an itsy-bitsy plane (no bikini, that’s Alaska!) whose pilot, Jonah, just wants to charter her back!

Life in Alaska proves a total change and real challenge for Calla and all the book is about her adapting, reconnecting with her father, dealing with Jonah and making new friends.

There is darkness with Wren’s cancer but there also is light and a lot of fun with Calla and Jonah’s banter!

 

Now let’s get into some specifics and why you should read this book.

 

First if Tracey, the most outdoorsy and tomboy of our bunch had difficulties connecting with “prissy” Calla in the beginning, I had no such difficulties.

Sure the girl was wearing high heels and tiny shorts on her first days in Alaska BUT she had been raised by a very high maintenance mom, lived in the city all her life and not in the bush. You can’t expect her to be a clone of Alaskans! Calla being a lifestyle blogger and talking about her blogger life made it even easier for me to connect with her.

Fear not though, as we all agreed, Calla will adapt, evolve, leave her “prissiness” behind. KA Tucker transitioned Calla perfectly, smoothly and I could not describe it better than what Tracey did: “Calla’s change was perfectly done. Kinda like when you are ill and then all of a sudden realize you feel better. I all of a sudden realized that she no longer annoyed me.”

I think Tracey’s words are spot on here!

 

It was a real pleasure not only to witness Calla’s growth but above all else, to enjoy her banter with Jonah!

I love a good enemies to lovers and again, we all agreed that this trope was extremely well done!

Jonah was an instant favorite! What’s not to like in a big and muscled Alaskan pilot, determined to help everyone in the community and delivering medicine or much needed necessities to the remotest places in extremely difficult conditions sometimes. Alaska and planes were his life! Let’s also add that under his very bushy beard he was extremely handsome!

Jonah gives as good as he gets and if he played some pranks on Calla she had her revenge! I was giggling so many times at their antics! My favorite moment when she decided that “Yetis is NOT a style” and decided to take things in her own hands when Jonah was unaware. I am not giving more details here as I don’t want to spoil your fun but if you have read that story, you’ll know what I mean!

All this gave the story a lightness so needed when faced with Wren, Calla’s dad, cancer!

 

Calla and Wren’s relationship had its challenges and was also done with talent!

When Calla arrived, she wanted to reconnect with him. Yet she was also angry with Wren! For being absent all these years, for missing key moments of her life. And seeing it through Calla’s eyes I was mad too.

Wren as Sarah said was “the character who lived his way but had regrets.”

Recreating their bond was not easy as Wren is someone so closed off. Yet he loved Calla so much! When I learned about his reasons, I forgave him just as Calla did.

Witnessing his illness and some of his choices was difficult for me as I have lots my dad to cancer just one year ago. Despite this, we were spared any unnecessary drama and that’s also something we all really valued in this story! No overload of angst. Just what was needed to make us feel and believe in this story.

 

What I also really liked in this story is that KA Tucker made the land into a character. You can’t help but feel and breathe Alaska. From its courageous and wise inhabitants to its wild harsh beauty that land played a determining role in the plot.

Calla learned to understand and love that savage country. She got why her father, why Jonah could not live elsewhere.

 

Last note here: reading about all the work and extend these pilots went to deliver their goods made me think about my own behavior when I order online. I would love for you to ponder on what Calla said:

“It was a long and tiring day of teeth-gritting landings on bumpy airstrips that are nothing more than dirt roads, isolated by thousands or miles of mostly inhabited land in every direction. Almost every trip today was to meet villagers to hand off essential supplies that had been ordered weeks before. They’d thank Jonah for coming, even though most of them had been waiting by those airstrips for hours. (..)

And all I kept thinking about as I smiled at that guy was how many times I’ve ordered makeup or clothes online, only to feel utterly disappointed when I arrive from work and find it not delivered.”

 

That’s it guys! Sorry for the long review so let’s conclude with: JUST READ IT!

 

Have you read it already? Do you like slow burn romances?

 

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

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17 Replies to “The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker. Review. Buddy read of a slow burn romance.”

  1. Lovely review!
    I think the main reason why i didn’t like it was that i just had a hard time accepting that Jonah is a nice dude, helping the whole village, but he’s outright rude to Calla, from the get go, for no reason. :/

  2. I’m not really a fan of slow burn romances. I feel like everyone loves this book but me. I’m glad that you were able to love it so much, Sophie!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh Kayla I am so sad it did not work for you!

  3. Most of the romance books I read start as insta love or hate/;love. A slow burn one with the setting as a character sounds really good.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      It’s a perfect example of the romance genre here Laura! And beloved by so many!!!!

  4. I read this one just a week after losing my dad in 2018 (perhaps not the best timing for such a book) it became one of my favorites of the year. I’ve loved K.A. Tucker for many years but I felt like she outdid herself with this one. The mix of Calla’s relationship with her father, the relationship with Jonah, and the changes in Calla herself, were balanced perfectly.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      That’s exactly what we thought too Tanya! That this was a perfect balance and we had a hard time to find flaws in this book!

  5. Olivia-Savannah says: Reply

    I have read one other KA Tucker book before and it was a thriller and I loved it! I should try one of her romance books. And a slow burn romance sounds like something I am going to enjoy. Great review x

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Olivia!!! I think you’d love that one!

  6. Slow-burn romance?? Yes, please! Reading this next year, no doubt

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Sophii I think you’ll going to love it!

  7. Yeah!! I adored this book. I had the pleasure of going on such a meaningful and emotional journey with Calla. I love the balance of humorous parts and heart wrenching parts, and Jonah. *swoon* I loved that grumpy guy. It was a phenomenal read for me. I liked it so much, I preordered the sequel, and I never do such things.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Sam I honestly can’t wait to read your thoughts on the sequel! I just hope that it won’t spoil book 1!

  8. This is one of my favorite books ever and I gave it the same rating as you – anyone else who hasn’t read it definitely should!! I was super moved by Calla and Wren – I had lost my father about 9 years prior to reading and it was so poignant for me I can only imagine how it was for you after such a shorter time since such a huge loss. My heart swooned over reserved Wren and the love he had for both Calla and her mother, even after all those years. I cried a lot reading this book it moved me so much, and this wasn’t always a sad thing! And yes, Jonah was instantly a favorite and loved their enemies to lovers connection. It also made me really think about the blessings and conveniences I have and made me fall in love with the wild beauty of Alaska. I LOVE slow burns and this is a must read for those that do!
    Sheesh, I’m passionate about this book! Sorry for the long comment

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Vicky you are so welcome for your long comment! I love when people are as passionate as I am about books truly!!! And I cried too you know.

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