Running Wild by K.A. Tucker
Publisher: K.A. Tucker
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Romance
“Hope is what broke my heart. Not Jonah, and not this city girl from Toronto who showed up in Alaska unannounced.”
Marie Lehr is in a rut. After pining for her best friend Jonah for years, she has watched him fall in love and marry another woman. Now without any prospects, she desperately wants to become a mother before it’s too late. Add to that financial strain from her veterinary clinic, Marie isn’t sure what is next for her. When an injured, abused dog is brought to her, Marie is furious. All signs point to a new musher, Tyler Brady. Nothing makes her blood boil more than animal abuse. Enlisting her friend in animal control, she trespasses on Tyler’s property to confront him. What she doesn’t anticipate is her attraction to Tyler. But Tyler has demons of his own.
I loved getting to know Marie as the main character instead of the villain. Running Wild is told from her first-person perspective. Marie has been deeply hurt by her feelings for Jonah. She is a much older character than Calla and faces relatable real-world issues such as financial struggles, student loans, sibling drama, and aging parents.
Tyler is a handsome musher from Montana, by way of Finland, who has come to Alaska to put some distance between himself and his past trauma. He and Marie don’t instantly connect, given that she accuses him of animal abuse the first time she meets him, but they quickly become friends and kindred spirits.
“If I have a weakness for anything besides an injured or scared animal, it’s for the man who’s willing to swoop in to save it”
Dog sled racing is a major part of the plot of Running Wild, and I loved it! I’ve also been fascinated by dog sledding from movies like Balto and Snow Dogs but Running Wild paints such a more realistic look at the sport without the rose-colored glasses of a Disney movie. Marie loves the dogs, but is a bit skeptical of the sport, and how the mushers treat their dogs. Tucker doesn’t sugarcoat the conflicting opinions surrounding sled dog racing, and because of that, the story felt a bit heavier to me than the first few books in the series.
The heart of this series has always been in the quiet moments and the simple things between characters that have such a big impact. This book is filled with such perfect little moments for fans of the series. There are many moments with Calla and Jonah, and the residents of Trapper’s Crossing. While they are not the focus of the story, you do get to see glimpses of their life as newlyweds, through Marie’s perspective.
I desperately hope that this is not the end of The Simple Wild series. It was so wonderful to hear Marie’s side of the story, and experience a different version of Alaska from what Calla shows. I highly recommend this book to fans of The Simple Wild series.
Thank you to K.A. Tucker and Valentine PR for the review copy! All opinions are my own.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Veterinarian Marie Lehr knows unrequited love all too well after pining for her best friend, only to watch him marry another woman. It’s a mistake she will never make again, especially not when she can practically hear the clock ticking on her childbearing years.
The trouble is, she can’t seem to find anyone who appeals to her even a fraction as much as that burly bush pilot did. Competitive musher Tyler Brady certainly doesn’t, especially not after the heated altercation with the handsome but arrogant, spiteful man.
Or so she thinks.
While volunteering at the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, Marie discovers that first impressions may have been false, and her attraction to Tyler is very real. But his heart belongs to someone else, leaving him with nothing to offer but friendship. Marie’s been down this road before and knows how that ends. Yet, no matter how hard she works to keep from falling for Tyler, it seems she’s doomed to follow her own trail once again.
About the Author
K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.
She is the internationally bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, The Simple Wild, Be the Girl, and Say You Still Love Me. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, Oprah Mag, and First for Women.
K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto.
If you are looking for books like Running Wild, check out my list of Books like The Simple Wild
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