My Wild Irish Rose
My Wild Irish Rose suffers from an idiot plot. An idiot plot is one that is kept in motion solely because all the characters in it act like idiots. If the characters in this book ever asked a question, or talked to each other or acted instead of assuming, all would soon be cleared up – but then we’d have a short story. Still, better a good short story than a bad book.
Rose Larkin is nineteen. Her charming, feckless Irish father has died and left her nothing. While Rose loved her father, she always longed for a quiet and stable life, but with her father, life was always one step ahead of homelessness. Rose got what little security she has known from her Aunt Kate, also her best friend. Kate married young and loved her husband, but in her heart, she envied her brother his wild and free life. Aunt Kate decides that Rose should be an adventuress and have a good time, so she packs her up and takes her to Ireland. Kate actually yearns for a quiet home, but she figures she owes Aunt Kate and goes along with it.
When Rose and Kate reach Ireland, they seem to have magnets pinned to them that attract every shady character in the city. Rose is approached immediately by a sinister character who wants to “protect” her, but the creep is given the boot by Cullen O’Banyon. Cullen is a widower, the owner of a prosperous horse breeding farm. He is quiet and stable and exactly the kind of man that Rose is looking for. But when she finds out he works with horses, she assumes he is just like her wild, irresponsible father. Then when Cullen meets Aunt Kate and she tells him about their plan to turn Rose into an adventuress, he assumes Rose wouldn’t want a boring man like himself, but he does tag along to protect Rose and Kate from themselves.
This improbable plot moves very, very slowly and the characters all act foolishly to keep it in motion. Cullen and Rose assume a lot, don’t ask questions, and Rose especially acts so foolishly I wanted to shake her. She doesn’t see things that are right under her nose. When they get to Cullen’s estate, it takes Rose an unbelievable amount of time to figure out he owns it. After she meets two boys, William and Ferris, it takes Rose way too long to figure out they are Cullen’s sons. I was shaking my head over how stupidly she acted throughout the book.
Cullen is marginally better, but not much. He does remonstrate with Rose about letting Aunt Kate run her life, but he doesn’t press the issue with much force. What’s worse is that I did not perceive much of the attraction the author says there is between Cullen and Rose.
The one reedeeming quality in My Wild Irish Rose is the middle section when Cullen, Rose and Aunt Kate travel through the countryside to his estate. The descriptions of the Irish landscape are quite good and brought some vivid pictures to mind.
This is the second book of Rachel Wilson’s that I have read. The first one, Bittersweet Summer had charming lead characters and a tender love story. This book did not. While that first book was still only a slightly better than average read, I’d rather you buy it than My Wild Irish Rose if you’ve got your heart set on trying this author.