The Wild Rose - Jennifer Donnelly ** The Wild Rose is the 3rd book in the Tea Rose Trilogy. There are slight spoilers for the previous two books in this review**

The Wild Rose continues on with the story of Willa Alden and Seamus Finnegan. By the end of The Winter Rose, Seamus and Willa have gone separate ways. Willa is bitter at having had her leg amputated after the Kilimanjaro climb went horribly wrong and blames Seamus. Seamus, meanwhile, is licking his wounds as he figures out how to deal with her. When The Wild Rose opens up not much has changed between the pair. Seamus is trying to continue on with his life in England, while Willa is off having a Pity Party of One up in the Himalayas.

Unlike the previous two books, where I was in love with the romantic pairing, I never found myself endeared to either Willa or Seamus. Willa comes off as a selfish, ungrateful brat. What I didn’t get is that she didn’t start out this way. In The Winter Rose, I had high hopes for her. She seemed like an intelligent, athletically strong young lady who wanted to keep up with the boys. I got that. But then the ill fated Kilimanjaro trip happened and Willa lost her leg along with the rest of her personality. She became this bitter character intent on placing blame on the most innocent person, Seamus. Her reason for becoming bitter? Because she could no longer climb. Now I could understand this to a certain point and was even a bit sympathetic to her in Winter Rose. However, it’s a few years down the line, chick has a new leg and climbing all over the Himalayas taking beautiful pictures, tracking out pathways for future climbers and hobnobbing with the Dalai Lama. I’m sorry Willa take your little violin and shove it up your pie hole! That “excuse” is no longer valid and blaming Seamie was plain stupid. I was over her excuses by the second chapter.

Seamie also wasn’t much better. A wannabe be debonair rogue charming the pantaloons off whatever women he came into contact with in an effort to forget Willa. I felt like shaking him, telling him to grow a pair and freaking communicate. For FFS, he can trek all the way to Antarctica, but he can’t trek to the Himalayas or send a letter letting Willa know he still loves her. Lame. Just plain lame.

So yeah, as you can tell from my rant in those two paragraphs I never really warmed up to this couple. I didn’t feel sorry for them. I couldn’t even relate. I didn’t feel anything towards them other than frustration at the lack of communication and self-pitying that the both of them did. What I loved about the other couples was that they were altruistic and loving. Unfortunately, Willa and Seamus only thought about themselves. Towards the end… when they finally got back together I didn’t really care. I thought they deserved each other as they’re both pretty damn selfish.

What made this book for me were the secondary characters. I loved getting to see what became of Fiona’s and Sid’s families. Fiona and Joe are my favorite pairing of the trilogy and they further charmed the pants out of me in this book. They’re just fabulously written characters and I love them. Even their kids, like Katie, are pretty awesome. I also loved Max von Brandt, who turned out to be a very complex character. Overall, it was these secondary storylines that kept the book moving for me. I do have to point out that Donnelly once again pulls out all the drama by having the characters hobnob with a ton of famous people and there are a lot of unrealistic scenes, but I expected this from reading the last two in the series and didn’t mind it at all.

I also have to say that I listened to the audio of this and it was fantastic. I thought Jill Tanner did a fabulous job of bringing the story to life.