“‘But I will always find my way back to you,’ he whispers against my lips.”
Synopsis: 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.
Publisher: K.A. Tucker
Publication Date: February 2020
After devouring Tucker’s prequel The Simple Wild, I jumped right back into Calla and Jonah’s story in Wild at Heart. It was also one of the books to complete for my O.W.L.s Readathon Challenge. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with this story, especially since its predecessor blew me away. However, Tucker did NOT disappoint! Exploring that Alaskan life once again, Calla and Jonah continue the next phase of their lives with new obstacles and challenges to face. Full of hilarious moments and introducing a vibrant cast of new characters, Wild at Heart has readers entranced until the last page!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please do not read further if you haven’t read the prequel The Simple Wild, for there may be unintentional spoilers.
↠ Tucker provides an accurate look at the Alaskan life and setting. It’s great when you can TELL the author did their research when choosing certain locations as their setting. The beautiful and dark winters to the crisp and ever bright summers, the lush and vibrant descriptions of the expansive and forest heavy landscape really draws you into the story even more … making you want to explore that rural life yourself!
↠ Calla and Jonah take their own journeys to discover their passions in life. Calla and Jonah discovering what their true passions are is a LARGE part of the story, seeing them find happiness not just with one another but with their own paths. As much as it’s great to see them develop their relationship, it’s even more exciting to see them discover themselves … their dreams … their ambitions. It’s so relatable as someone in their late twenties, showing that life doesn’t always go according to “the plan” … it takes time to discover one’s passion, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
↠ Tucker’s new characters really bring the family element of the story to life! Calla and Jonah start their lives together in a new rural area of Alaska, encountering some new interesting characters along the way. Tucker REALLY expands on the side characters, developing well-rounded personalities and backstories for them … you really feel and care for them, wanting to know more about their lives. Though Calla’s one neighbour is extremely pushy, it ends up being in Calla’s best interest. I will say, I was SHOCKED to learn some information regarding her other neighbour … not sure how to process it. But I think that’s the point of it (and it did NOT ruin the story for me). In the end, they’re all there for one another when it matters … showing family isn’t limited to blood-relations. I really love how Tucker didn’t just dismiss Wren Fletcher … his passing is still a challenge for Jonah and Calla, but his memory is a reminder for them to live life to the fullest with little regrets as possible.(growth … rural community life … family)
↠ Calla and Jonah’s relationship feels realistic and authentic, detailing real issues and a blossoming partnership. Obviously, they start with the “honeymoon phase” … it’s new and exciting, with little fears facing them. There are still MANY hilarious and intimate moments to laugh and swoon over. But they also have some challenges to face … it’s not a cookie-cutter connection. Their lives take a BIG turn, moving to a new place and having career paths take detours. They fight, disagree, worry, become withdrawn … but they learn to overcome these obstacles. They grow as a couple, comprising living arrangements and work schedules as these obstacles come their way. This makes their relationship feel realistic, showing it takes more than passion for a relationship to work — it takes work and talks to form a healthy relationship.
↠ I wasn’t really impressed with Calla and Jonah going back to their old ways in the first portion of the book. In The Simple Wild, Calla and Jonah were rather over-the-top and somewhat childish … but it didn’t bother me since it was part of their personal growth stories. But it became rather annoying to see Jonah and Calla revert back to some of these old ways when they’d JUST learned to grow past these traits. But it’s also interesting, since a lot of these setbacks to old ways are due to emotional struggles and mental breaks they’re both experiencing … especially for Calla. So as much as it’s somewhat a nuisance, it also helps illustrate how people cope differently … not to judge too quickly.
Wild at Heart is a FANTASTIC sequel to Tucker’s Wild series, exploring new hurdles for Calla and Jonah to overcome. This goes BEYOND relationship quarrels, since Alaska has its own set of dangers and complications that Alaskans face every day. The beautifully rich and descriptive rural Alaskan setting takes your breath away, full of character and uniqueness. The introduction of new characters with the occurrence of ones from The Simple Wild brought a whole new level to this story … they’re so well developed that they feel like real people. I think that’s the BIGGEST achievement with Tucker’s novel … her stories and the characters within feel so real that you want to continue watching them grow, seeing where their lives take them next. This isn’t just a romance story … it’s about family, changes, self-discovery, survival and so much more. I don’t know if there’s going to be a sequel, but I really hope so!
I recommend this novel if you enjoy:
↠ A focus on family and friendship
↠ Survival and the bonds of a community
↠ Hate to love romance trope
↠ Realistic fiction
↠ Rural settings
Have you read Tucker’s Wild at Heart?