THE SIMPLE WILD
BY k.a. TUCKER
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 is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s the perfect balance of sadness, humor and hope while telling a truly beautiful story about love and forgiveness.
I admittedly don’t know a lot about Wild Alaska, beyond the Alaskan reality TV shows that my dad favors, but even I knew Calla was in trouble when she agreed to fly in to see her dad. Girl was literally taking the trash out in Louboutin heels. Like Jonah I assumed she was the fake Barbie living her best IG- Influencer life. Her character really grew on me though and there was more to her then I originally thought. She was kind, caring and maybe not the best at expressing herself but neither was her dad. Calla never backed down from a challenge though nor did she truly complain much when she learned just how different life was out there. I loved her by the end of the book, especially her one liners and quipping with Jonah.
The romance was incredible to say the least. Jonah was HOT. Pack your things and move to Alaska to find a bush pilot hot. Calla and him had chemistry from the start and their arguing/pranks were so funny. I like that he pushed her out of her comfort zone while also helping her to adapt to her dads’ life as best as possible. It’s definitely a slow burn so buckle up and wait for it slowly land, it’s worth it.
A big part of the story was the relationship between Calla and her dad Wren. Mistakes were made on both sides and who truly knows what the right thing to do in the moment is until it’s too late? It was hard to read at time and I cried a lot admittedly, but I loved the moments between the two. The scenes of them trying to rekindle their relationship were some of my favorite. Those quiet moments in between the romance that were so heartwarming.
This book destroyed me emotionally in all the best ways. It has an amazing cast of characters that I loved getting to know, who I hope pop up in later books, and the writing perfectly captured the beautiful Alaskan landscape and the unique way of life that’s lived out there. I don’t know if I’ll be packing up and moving to Alaska after this book, but maybe a visit and a trip to the bookstore to buy the rest of this series. Don’t sleep on this book.