☆☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆
What It’s About:
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.
Guest Reviewer Tom’s Thoughts:
The Simple Wild, by K.A. Tucker is a funny, poignant, and emotionally gut wrenching tale of love, loss, regret and forgiveness. Tucker masterfully paints us a picture of the Alaskan wilderness, introducing us to the fictional town of Bangor, Alaska and its close-knit community of townspeople who are reliant on one another for friendship and sometimes survival. At the center is Wren Fletcher, owner of a cargo airline fleet and manager of a team of bush pilots.
Wren is in love with, yet estranged from, his ex wife and daughter who are living in Toronto. Distance, and extenuating circumstances make daughter Calla feel like she was shortchanged by her father, but she wants to attempt to reconcile with him in Alaska before his imminent death. Still, she has doubts. Calla departs Toronto and is flown to Bangor on the last leg by Jonah, one of Wren’s bush pilots. Jonah and Calla are oil and water due to lifestyle differences of the big city and the Simple Wild.
As you can imagine, author Tucker cultivates captivating romantic tension between these two. What holds them together besides physical attraction is their relationship and ties to Wren. Jonah helps Calla solve the puzzle of her own relationship with Wren just in time before Wren’s passing. The tragedy of reconciliation with little time left makes this an emotionally charged read. On the romantic side, the uncompromising lifestyles of Calla and Jonah seem to doom their relationship from the beginning, and author Tucker keeps us guessing and hoping for the best… that history won’t repeat itself.
The ending is full of surprises and emotion in all of these relationships, and the resolution of each is inspiring. What makes this book exceptional is Tucker’s exquisite character development throughout. Each and every character is both likable and memorable and a welcome addition to the story.
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