Review: The Player Next Door by K.A. Tucker

The Player Next Door by K.A. Tucker
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: June 16th 2020
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

From the international bestselling author of The Simple Wild and Ten Tiny Breaths comes a new second-chance, hate-to-love romance.

Scarlet Reed has returned to Polson Falls, convinced that twelve years away is long enough to shed her humiliating childhood identity as the town harlot’s daughter. With a teaching job secured and an adorable fixer-upper to call home, things in her life are finally looking up.

That is, until she finds out that Shane Beckett lives next door.

Shane Beckett, the handsome and charismatic high school star quarterback who smashed her heart. The lying, cheating player who was supposed to be long gone, living the pro football dream and fooling women into thinking he’s Prince Charming. Shane Beckett, who is as attractive as ever and flashing his dimples at her as if he has done no wrong.

Scarlet makes it abundantly clear that old wounds have not been forgotten. Neighbors they may be, but friends they most certainly are not. She won’t allow herself to fall for the single father and firefighter again, no matter how many apologies he offers, how many times he rushes to her aid, or how hard he makes her heart pound.

But as she spends more time with him, she begins to fear that maybe she’s wrong. Maybe Shane has changed.
And maybe this time she’s the one playing herself—out of a chance at true happiness.

I am such a big fan of K.A. Tucker, so when I heard she’d be releasing a new standalone with summer vibes, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! Also, I’m always a sucker for both second chance romances and single parent romances. I ended up enjoying Shane and Scarlet’s story – it’s both sweet and dramatic, if that makes sense. If you want a summer read with a swoony hero and lots of unresolved tension, give The Player Next Door a try!

Scarlet has returned home after being away for twelve years to be a school teacher. She packed up and never looked back as soon as she could, not wanting to deal with heartbreak and her narcissistic mother any more. But she’s moved into the cute little house she always admired, not knowing that her next door neighbor is none other than the guy who broke her heart and caused her to want to leave: Shane Beckett. Who also happens to be the father of one of her new students.

This romance is a bit of an enemies to lovers one, at least on our heroine Scarlet’s side. She hasn’t forgiven Shane for breaking her heart over a decade ago and isn’t about to make it easy for him to try to get her to give him a second chance. I love a heroine who makes a hero work for her affections, though I do feel Shane could’ve groveled a bit more rather than say it was something that happened so long ago. There’s plenty of chemistry, of push and pull, between Shane and Scarlet to make this romance exciting and fun.

The main reason I’m not rating this higher is that I felt a bit disconnected from our main characters. I liked them, but I never truly connected with their stories. I may have rolled my eyes a bit at some of the miscommunication and it wasn’t quite as light and fluffy as I expected. But still, it’s a quick, sweet (which mostly comes from our charming hero and his son) romp with a dash of drama (from our heroine) that will make this a fun summer read!


lacey


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Review: Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker

Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker
Series: The Simple Wild #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 18th 2020
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

​From the internationally best-selling author of The Simple Wild comes the continuation of a woman’s journey to Alaska and a life she never imagined for herself.

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 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.

I have been SO freaking excited for the sequel to The Simple Wild, one of my favorite books of 2018, ever since K.A. Tucker announced she would be writing more of Calla and Jonah. TSW ended on a bit of an HFN, so it made sense that there would be more of their story to tell. I adored their romance and was a little nervous going into Wild at Heart – obviously, there is the question that goes with any sequel: will I love it as much as the first? While this sequel wasn’t quite the 5-star read that the first book was, I still loved being back with Calla and Jonah again and enjoyed this further glimpse into their lives in Alaska together! If you loved TSW, I highly recommend you give this sequel a try – Calla and Jonah are still very much together and in love, but they have plenty of new struggles to overcome.

Wild at Heart picks up fairly soon after the end of The Simple Wild – Calla has agreed to be with and move to Alaska with Jonah, but only if they move to a town that’s closer to a big city. So even though Jonah is ‘home’ in Alaska, they both have to deal with moving to a new town, finding and building a home, and making new friends and connections. Jonah is just as focused on planes as he was in the first book. He’s honestly the sexiest pilot I’ve ever read! Calla is determined to make Alaska her new home, because that’s where Jonah is. But when Jonah spends more time away in order to make enough money to build a life for the two of them, Calla needs to find herself not just a job, but a passion to dedicate her life while in this new environment.

There’s not a lot of drama when it comes to Wild at Heart, and I actually liked that. It’s not as thrilling or exciting as the first book, which felt like “OMG, ALASKA!!” but that doesn’t necessarily make it worse. This sequel is more of a “let’s build a new life here, together” type of story, with Jonah and Calla creating a home for themselves and settling down. I really enjoyed the new people Calla meets in town, though Agnes, Mabel, and Wren will always be my favorites. The story is sweet and heartwarming, with K.A. Tucker’s talented writing that will suck you right back into Alaska and remind you just why you love Jonah and Calla so much. Jonah still has the ability to make me swoon, though I did want to smack him a few times when he got frustrating. So if you’ve been missing these two and/or Alaska, you definitely need to read Wild at Heart.


Reading Order: The Simple Wild series

#1 ~ The Simple Wild: My ReviewEbook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Wild at Heart: EbookPaperback • Goodreads


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Early Review: Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: August 6th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The bestselling author of The Simple Wild and Keep Her Safe and “master of steamy romance” (Kirkus Reviews) delivers a sizzling novel about an ambitious and high-powered executive who reconnects with her first love: the boy who broke her heart.

Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counselors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is still alive and strong, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.

K.A. Tucker wrote one of my favorite books of 2018, The Simple Wild, so to say I was excited for her next contemporary romance would be an understatement. She knows how to write stories that will appeal to your emotions and heart, which is exactly what happened with Say You Still Love Me. Reading this book was like an emotional roller coaster I never wanted to get off of. If you love second chance romances that will hit you in the face with summer feels and nostalgia, read this book.

Second chance romances are my favorite, and Say You Still Love Me hit all the right buttons for me. The main characters met and fell in love at summer camp as teenage counselors, but Kyle never contacted Piper again after that one summer. Thirteen years later, Piper has just received control of her father’s company and she needs to prove to her dad and her employees that she’s the right fit for this multi-million dollar company. Just when things are looking up, her past love shows up as the new security guard at her office building, and feelings resurface. It’s almost as if the decade that passed without each other never happened. The privileged, wealthy girl is still very much in love with the boy from the wrong side of the tracks.

I LOVED these Piper and Kyle. You can feel the absolute heartbreak, the longing, the adoration that these two still hold for each other. They might not have gotten on the right foot during their reunion, but over time I couldn’t help but swoon over how clearly the two worship each other. We get some great juxtaposition between alternating chapters of past and present, with the past chapters set in summer camp. We can see Piper and Kyle falling in love for the first time alongside them relearning each other in the present and falling in love all over again. This kind of storytelling reminded me a lot of another 2018 favorite, Love & Other Words by Christina Lauren, so if you liked that book, you’ll probably like this one too.

Say You Still Love Me made me feel nostalgic over summer camp and I never even WENT to summer camp. K.A. Tucker made that camp setting come to life in this book, and it’s almost as if it’s another character itself. Which made this the perfect summer read. This is a romance that will hit you in the feels and I can’t recommend it enough!


lacey


Also by K.A. Tucker

Standalones

  

The Simple Wild: My ReviewEbook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
He Will Be My Ruin: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Keep Her Safe: My Review • EbookHardcoverPaperback • AudibleGoodreads

Reading Order: Burying Water series

Burying Water by K.A. Tucker Becoming Rain by K.A. Tucker Chasing River by K.A. Tucker Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker

#1 ~ Burying Water: My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Becoming Rain: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Chasing River: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Surviving Ice: My ReviewEbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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Signed Paperback Giveaway: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

I’m incredibly excited partner up with Atria Books to give away a signed paperback of one of my favorite books of the year: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker! Click the image below to enter!


Or click here to enter

You can read my 5 star review for The Simple Wild here!

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: August 7th 2018
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City girl Calla Fletcher attempts to reconnect with her estranged father, and unwittingly finds herself torn between her desire to return to the bustle of Toronto and a budding relationship with a rugged Alaskan pilot in this masterful new romance from acclaimed author K.A. Tucker.

Calla Fletcher was two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when her father reaches out to inform her that his days are numbered, Calla knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this new subarctic environment, Jonah—the quiet, brooding, and proud Alaskan pilot who keeps her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. As time passes, she unexpectedly finds herself forming a bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago.

It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • IndieBound • iBooks • Kobo

about the author button

K.A. TuckerBorn in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads • YouTube • Pinterest • Instagram


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Release Day Review: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: August 7th 2018
Links: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

City girl Calla Fletcher attempts to reconnect with her estranged father, and unwittingly finds herself torn between her desire to return to the bustle of Toronto and a budding relationship with a rugged Alaskan pilot in this masterful new romance from acclaimed author K.A. Tucker.

Calla Fletcher was two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when her father reaches out to inform her that his days are numbered, Calla knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this new subarctic environment, Jonah—the quiet, brooding, and proud Alaskan pilot who keeps her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. As time passes, she unexpectedly finds herself forming a bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago.

It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

The Simple Wild is now one of my new favorite reads of 2018! I almost cried at the end of this book, while I was taking public transportation. That’s how intensely emotional this book is, since I rarely ever cry while reading. I fell in love with Calla, her family, Jonah, flying, and Alaska in this phenomenal read. This is definitely my favorite K.A. Tucker read to date and I highly recommend this beautifully written book – it’s the kind of read that you won’t be able to forget.

City girl Calla Fletcher never thought she would travel to a remote town in Alaska of all places, but when someone who works with her estranged father tells her that he has terminal cancer, she packs her bags to go see the man who abandoned her for over two decades, who always chose his job as a pilot over his daughter, before he’s truly gone from her life.

At its heart, The Simple Wild is about relationships and taking chances. Calla is woefully unprepared for the wilds of Alaska – but what city girl wouldn’t be? But she takes the chance to go see her father and reconnect with him after decades in the hopes she won’t have any regrets about their relationship by the time he’s gone. She takes a chance on Alaska, on its unforgiving nature and the close-knit community that the Alaskan small town has. And she takes a chance on a surly, gorgeous pilot named Jonah, who she can’t help but go head to head with. But even after letting all these new experiences and people into her heart, can a city girl at heart and the wilds of Alaska truly mesh?

The Simple Wild quite simply wrecked me. As soon as I picked it up, I couldn’t stop reading Calla’s heartfelt story. I felt for this girl, the way she tries to make a new relationship with her father, the way she stands up to Jonah and falls slowly in love with him. I never expected to fall in love with Alaska, but K.A. Tucker writes the place in a way that makes it come to life. I am beyond impressed with this breathtaking story and highly recommend it for those who want more in their contemporary romances!


lacey


Also by K.A. Tucker

Standalones

 

He Will Be My Ruin: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Keep Her Safe: My Review • EbookHardcoverPaperback • AudibleGoodreads

Reading Order: Burying Water series

Burying Water by K.A. Tucker Becoming Rain by K.A. Tucker Chasing River by K.A. Tucker Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker

#1 ~ Burying Water: My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Becoming Rain: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Chasing River: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Surviving Ice: My ReviewEbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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