Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Narrator: Rebekkah Ross
Audiobook Length: 12hr 34m
Release Date: 8-07-2018
Reading Time: 5 minutes
City girl Calla Fletcher attempts to reconnect with her estranged father, and unwittingly finds herself torn between her desire to return to the bustle of Toronto and a budding relationship with a rugged Alaskan pilot in this masterful new romance from acclaimed author 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 26, 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.
First Line: “November 15, 1993. Anchorage, Alaska. Wren sets the two navy suitcases next to the stroller and then reaches for the cigarette precariously perched between his lips, taking a long, slow drag. He releases smoke into the frigid air. ‘Just these?'”
K.A. Tucker does not disappoint with this epic tale of love. Calla is on a mission to get closure with her father (who’s dying in Alaska), and falls in flove with one of his bush pilots. Being a backcountry pilot myself, this. was. my. juju!!
But of course this story is all too familiar since Calla‘s mother fell in love with a pilot, married him, only to leave him to return to the frilly city. Her beau didn’t follow her, if you’re wondering. He didn’t even go after her to beg for forgiveness! Pig. Not that I blame him…a world of isolation sounds fan-freaking-tastic.
Fate repeats itself, and Calla stands in her mother’s shoes as she falls deep for a brooding, flying hottie. She also learns more about her father, the man she’s always considered a stranger, and learns to love him, too. Her transformation is perfection. She goes from a self-centered little city brat to a woman who is passionate about her small community, someone selfless and considerate. I’m crying just thinking about it.
“…He doesn’t want me there. He wasn’t even going to tell me. He was just going to go and die, without giving me any warning.” My voice cracks. This man who I don’t even know still wounds me so deeply.
Ugg my heart. 💔
This is my favorite read of 2019 thus far. Easily. Other than my own book babies that I absolutely adore, K.A. Tucker is right up there with the manuscripts I’ve written myself. That’s how much I love her and her writing.
The Simple Wild is entirely from Calla‘s perspective which I appreciated, and the only thing that really bugged me was the sexy yeti pilot said something along the lines of “don’t touch the rudder pedals, they turn the plane” right around the time him and Calla have serious sexy times and he’s flying her in the Alaska backcountry.
This bugged me because rudder pedals don’t turn an aircraft. They control yaw (which is rotation about the y-axis of an aircraft), so that fact annoyed me, and I wish she hadn’t made that typo. But hey, there’s a reason I never read books with pilots in them because there’s always a mistake. But this one was most definitely worth it even with that blip that only a pilot would know.
Usually I write a cute summary of a book before diving into my opinion about it, but does that book blurb cover everything or what!? We just dive right into that delicious conflict. The Simple Wild is just PHENOMENAL. It’s immaculate. It’s one of a kind. I mean, I wanted to move to Alaska after reading this book. That’s how delusional I am. I’m going to say nothing except rough, yeti men are yummy, and pilots are hot. Five stars.