Oh my gosh, it was so great to catch up with Calla and Jonah following The Simple Wild. I absolutely adored the first story (it’s one of my all-time faves) and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one as soon as I heard a sequel was coming. Of course, it’s always slightly nerve-wracking getting a sequel to a book one loves. I think even K.A. Tucker was worried about doing her characters justice after such a spectacular first book. The good news is, when an author creates characters who feel as real as Calla, Jonah, Wren, Agnes, and the whole lot, they would be hard-pressed to write a bad second book.
I didn’t love Wild at Heart quite as intensely as The Simple Wild, but please don’t let that take away from how great this continuation was. I was excited to see where life took these characters, how things evolved, and how the characters had grown. I felt as if Calla went back to some of her old complaining ways that I wasn’t too excited about in The Simple Wild, but again, by the end of this story she had come around again. I also thought the beginning of Wild at Heart started a bit slow for my tastes. It read more like a diary of details of Jonah and Calla’s lives as they settled into Alaskan life as a couple. However, eventually, things did get rolling for me as a reader, and I was not eager to put the book down or take any sort of break from reading once it did.
I loved the addition of new characters, especially Roy, Calla and Jonah’s curmudgeonly new neighbor, along with the animals that were sure to make their presence known in the rugged wilderness. As always, K.A. did her research for this book, allowing readers to learn more details about the ins and outs of Alaskan living. These stories are incredibly realistic, all while being able to make readers weak in the knees with the swoon-worthy romance.
Naturally, this story featured some ups and downs we were sure to expect as our main characters adjusted to a whole new way of life. I was happy to see how they worked out their differences and were able to grow as characters, both together and individually. I hope K.A. will keep the series going with a third book. I can’t get enough of these characters, their lifestyle, and the setting. They are consistently fun to spend time with and truly think I could read about them forever!
Rating: 4 stars
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Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker
Release Date: February 18, 2020
Wild at Heart, book two in the Simple Wild series by USA Today bestselling author, K.A. Tucker.
Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.
But Calla soon learns that even the best intentions can lead to broken promises, and that compromise comes with a hefty price—a log cabin in interior rural Alaska that feels as isolating as the western tundra.
With Jonah gone more than he’s home, one neighbor who insists on transforming her into a true Alaskan, and another who seems more likely to shoot her than come to her aid, Calla grapples with forging her own path. In a world with roaming wildlife that has her constantly watching over her shoulder and harsh conditions that stretch far beyond the cold, dark, winter months, just stepping outside her front door can be daunting.
This is not the future Calla had in mind, leaving her to fear that perhaps she is doomed to follow in her mother’s fleeing footsteps after all.
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“So … I guess I’ll see you when I see you.”
I can’t manage words around the flaring lump in my throat, and so I simply nod. The past four days with Jonah in Toronto have been a blur. A bliss-filled blur that I’m not ready to let go of yet. The Uber driver shuttling me home after this parting will have the privilege of a sobbing mess in their backseat.
An unreadable look flashes across Jonah’s icy blue eyes. I still haven’t grown accustomed to seeing him without a beard, though I’ll admit I’ve enjoyed admiring that chiseled jawline and those dimples. He takes a deep breath and turns away, his carry-on slung over one broad shoulder, his boarding pass and passport dangling from between two pinched fingers.
I watch him hand his documents to the agent at the US-bound entry gate, who spends all of one second reviewing them before waving him toward the glass security doors. On the other side is his fourteen-hour flight home. In seconds, Jonah is going to be out of sight, gone.
Who knows when I’ll see him again? He flew here to tell me in person that he’s been miserable these past two months since I left Alaska, that he doesn’t want to be a carbon copy of my father—spending his life pining over my mother—that he wants to find an “us” that will work. That he wants me beside him.
I haven’t given him an answer yet, too afraid to leap.
I feel the word rising inside me—an emotion about to erupt. “Yes!” My pulse pounds in my ears.
Jonah turns to regard me with a raised eyebrow.
Am I crazy? Maybe.
But I’m fully committing to it.
I take a step forward and swallow my nerves. “I’ll come back to Alaska.” Because being with Jonah again—laughing and reminiscing, having him in my space, waking in his arms—has only confirmed what I’ve suspected for months: I’m deeply in love with him, and living in Toronto when he’s not here doesn’t make sense to me anymore.
I’m done saying goodbye to this man.
Jonah leaves the line and retraces his steps to close the distance, dropping his bag by his feet. It’s five a.m. and we’re creating an obstacle, forcing travelers to weave around us on either side to get to their flights. Their grumbles touch my ears, but in this moment, I don’t care.
The severe frown cutting across Jonah’s handsome forehead as he stares down at me says he doesn’t, either. “Are you serious?”
I nod. “Yeah. I mean, if you’re serious about moving to Anchorage—”
“When?” he demands to know, his voice suddenly gruff.
“I don’t know. As soon as I can?” How long does it take to pack up your life and move to a different country? Granted, a country I was born in and still have citizenship with but haven’t lived in for more than two decades.
His eyes spark with determination. “Come for Christmas.”
I laugh. “That’s like a month away!”
“So? What else you got goin’ on?” It’s a challenge, delivered in Jonah’s typical blunt style. “I’m not going to see my mom in Oslo anymore. And Aggie and Mabel would love having you there. Especially since it’s the first one without Wren. You should come.” His Adam’s apple bobs with his hard swallow. “Come.”
Somewhere in between his words and his tone and the way he’s looking at me, I hear the silent plea. In truth, the idea of being near the people closest to my late father for the holidays sounds more appealing—and more feasible—by the second.
“Okay?” I say on an exhale, my voice shaky.
About K.A. Tucker:
K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.
She is the USA Today bestselling author of 17 books, including the Causal Enchantment, Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, and The Simple Wild. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, First for Women, and Publisher’s Weekly. She has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance 2013 for TEN TINY BREATHS and Best Romance 2018 for THE SIMPLE WILD. Her novels have been translated into 16 languages.
K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her family.
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Interesting reviews of interesting stories about interesting people in their own interesting ways!
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