Review: Running Wild by K.A. Tucker

RUNNING WILD
K.A. Tucker
Series: Wild #3
Pub Date: January 25, 2022
Format: eARC
Source: Valentine PR
4.5 stars

From the internationally bestselling author of The Simple Wild comes the story of a woman at a crossroads in her life, struggling between the safe route and the one that will only lead to more heartbreak.

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.
 



Marie spent several years secretly (or not so secretly, depending on who you asked) in love with her best friend, Jonah, going so far as ending her engagement to another man. With Jonah now married, Marie has moved beyond those feelings and is thankful that their friendship remains strong and intact. When she meets Tyler, an Alaska transplant from Finland by way of Montana, they get off to a rocky start when she falsely accuses him of abusing his dogs, but that quickly morphs into a mutual attraction and a friendship of sorts. The flirtation comes to an abrupt halt when she realizes that Tyler cannot return her feelings. Yet again, a one-sided relationship that was over before it began.

Tucker has described Running Wild as a subtle, soft, slow burn romance and I couldn’t agree more. Marie was a woman nearing forty and coming to terms with her life’s choices and where they had led her. She wanted a relationship, she wanted children, but at this stage in her life she wondered if any of that was in the cards for her. I loved the delicious push and pull between she and Tyler. He ran hot and cold with Marie, which was frustrating at times, but also understandable considering his past.

The sport of dogsledding played a strong role in Running Wild and it was obvious Tucker did her research. She was able to share aspects of a sport that I knew next to nothing about and present in it a way that had me interested and invested, highlighting the love and care that mushers have for their dogs, while still recognizing the concerns and controversy that surrounds the industry.

Running Wild is very much a character driven story, one that includes real-life topics like financial issues, family dynamics, aging parents, and facing that your future may not hold what you had hoped and expected. I loved the sense of community and the way those who lived in the harsh environs of Alaska looked out for one another. Those who have read the previous books in the Wild series will revel in the inclusion of all the beloved characters, while readers new to the series can easily enjoy Running Wild as a standalone.

Marie and Tyler truly captured my heart and I ached for the hurdles they faced – personally, professionally, and as a would-be couple. Marie was strong yet vulnerable, no-nonsense and pragmatic, with an unwavering sense of right and wrong. I love how Tucker portrayed these oh so flawed characters and had me completely invested in their lives. With Running Wild, Tucker delivered a top-notch addition to the Wild series and I loved every minute of it4.5 stars




24 comments

  1. AH! You have me excited to read this one!

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  2. ok, don't hate me lol but I didn't love the first book in this series but this one really appeals to me.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. Oh no, sorry the first one didn't work for you. :( Maybe you'll enjoy this one more?

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  3. I need to get back to that series! I loved the first book and have a lot to catch up with!

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  4. That's a high rating, and I am excited about it. I like to hear there is a strong sense of community, though I am not surprised given this is Marie's book. I am excited to see her get her HEA

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    1. Her HEA truly did not come easy but that made it all the more satisfying.

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  5. This sounds like a wonderful book to curl up with, and the Alaska setting and the dog sledding is perfect for a cold winter. I'm already pulling for these two. :)

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    1. Right? The Alaska setting made for a perfect winter read.

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  6. I'm glad to hear you loved this one, I'm really looking forward to it! The blurb alone made me feel so much for Marie and your review is wonderful!

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  7. I really enjoyed Tucker's The Simple Wild, and this one sounds just as good. Plus, it's got that whole Alaskan setting, and dogsled racing, too. Those are always draws for me. :)

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    1. If you loved The Simple Wild, I think you'd enjoy this one, too, Lark! :)

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  8. Great review Tanya! I've only read the first book in this series. Looks like I'll have to read this one too.

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    1. Thanks Maureen! I hope you'll love this one if/when you get to it.

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  9. I really need to read more of K.A. Tucker! I think that I have only read one book so far. This sounds like a great series.

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    1. Tucker is practically an auto-buy author for me. I think the only thing of hers I haven't read is the fantasy novel she released last year.

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  10. I'm so glad to hear this is still a great addition to the series even without Calla and Jonah as the focus.

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    1. Call and Jonah are very much in the story so readers won't have to miss them too much. :)

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  11. Yep, that's it. It's settled. I'm this book! I love softer slow burns. Plus, K. A. Tucker has been on my list for a while.

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    1. I hope you'll love it if/when you get to it, Carrie! If you enjoy it you can always go back and read the earlier books for Calla and Jonah's story. :)

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  12. Great review! I'm so excited for this book, so glad to hear you really enjoyed it!

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