Wild at Heart Summary (from the publisher):
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.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
K.A. Tucker’s Wild at Heart WAS one of those books that always seemed to fall on those ‘books I still need to read on my TBR’ type posts. My county library recently added it to their ebook collection via Libby (if you like ebooks, I highly recommend seeing if your library provides this platform), and I found myself in the mood for a light & breezy contemporary romance. The sequel to The Simple Wild (my review is linked), the book picks up with Calla’s decision to move to Alaska permanently.
I definitely recommend picking up The Simple Wild before picking this one up (this series is the PERFECT kind of binge read), but the sequel is really a story of its own as Calla tries to figure out her place in Alaska. Despite having about a two year reading break in between the two books, it took me no time at all to get re-familiarized with the characters & storyline (and yes, Calla’s stepfather, Simon, is still my favorite). More secondary characters are added in this sequel that I did ultimately love, however, I will admit that there were a few moments where someone was mentioned & it took me a few seconds to remember who they exactly were. I loved the Roy storyline, and sorry Jonah, but Calla’s friendship with this cranky neighbor is my favorite relationship in the series. It was a tad reminiscent of Calla’s relationship with her father in book #1. The setting of The Simple Wild books is my favorite part – while I honestly am way too much of a beach/warm weather person & could never imagine living in Alaska, K.A. Tucker’s descriptions of the setting made me want to visit.
Regarding Calla & Jonah (I finally picked up on why the book titles have something to do with ‘wild’ other than the setting of course), I like them as a fictional couple, but Calla definitely continued to frustrate me as a character. Listen, I don’t mind reading books with ‘spoiled’ characters because let’s face it, I love books following the rich and the glam (thinking of something like Anna K or even The Thousandth Floor), and it was kind’ve fun to see Jonah & Calla basically buy whatever they want. However, Calla often reads as immature even in book #2 and while this is part of her story arc, I wanted to see her do something that basically wasn’t taking care of Jonah/their home sooner. I tend to read slower on my Kindle vs. with a print book for some reason, but I felt like it really took me the first 100 pages or so to get settled into the story and get reacquainted with Calla’s narration…and then I preceded to read the final 200 pages of the book until 2:30 AM one night because I found myself addicted. In addition, blame it on my basic memory of book #1, but the romance scenes were way more closed-doors than I remembered, with each chapter basically ending with the start of Calla and Jonah getting intimidating. I didn’t read Wild at Heart just for the romance, but it was hard to get a feel on why Calla and Jonah are so crazy about it each, especially since this book revolves around their different ideas on being together.
Overall, Wild at Heart was a solid sequel to The Simple Wild. I didn’t really mind that I was more ‘slice of life’ as Calla and Jonah build a life together in Alaska because I love the setting so much.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
As soon as I finished Wild at Heart, I immediately borrowed the sequel novella, Forever Wild, around 2:30 AM, went to bed, and then basically starting reading the novella as soon as I woke up the next morning. This about 150 page novella begins a few weeks after the ending of Wild at Heart, as Calla and Jonah’s families visit for Christmas.
Forever Wild nicely wraps up Calla and Jonah’s story arc, and more importantly, worked really well as novella! I think a ton of novellas tend to fall into the unnecessary/fluff category, but it was a really smart decision to end Calla and Jonah’s story this way since it would’ve dragged out Wild at Heart. I’m always in the mood for a holiday inspired book, and the Christmas setting was really cozy while also allowing us to better understand Calla and Jonah’s family dynamics. The story overall was light and sweet, even though I am really annoyed that it ended at the start of an important ceremony (trying to avoid spoilers but you can probably figure it out..), given that this series is usually so descriptive about any event.
Although Forever Wild concludes the focus on Jonah and Calla, they will be making an appearance in the spin-off series following Jonah’s best friend, Marie. Marie wasn’t exactly my favorite character, but I am intrigued to get her side of the story regarding her feelings for Jonah and to see if her romance involves the dog-sled trainer hinted at in Forever Wild.
Have you read K.A. Tucker’s The Simple Wild series? What’s your favorite book in the series? Should I check out any of K.A. Tucker’s other books? Share in the comments!