"Good historical crossover book for paranormal readers"

THE BRIAR AND THE ROSE is a wonderful historical based loosely on the ballad of Barbara Allan. Ms Mills-Alcot has done a great job of weaving the history of Mairead and Seamus with the present lives of Devon Lord Castlereagh and the fair Miss Raven. She effortlessly takes up back and forth over a 200-year time span. I laughed and cried out loud while reading this book. As a reader, I have to admit that this is not my typical genre preference but was pleasantly pleased that I stepped outside the box to read this book.

THE BRIAR AND THE ROSE takes you on a delightful journey trough the Irish countryside. We meet Devon Lord Castlereagh who is just recovering from losing his ladylove to a horrible hose fire. Dreams and thoughts of her torment him. Then enter Raven a young lady who looks enough like his beloved as to be her twin. Raven has lost her memory and is plagued by dreams of someone else's past. She is taken in and given a place on the household staff but soon finds herself as a guest of Lord Castlereagh. Unbeknownst to either Devon or Raven, they are sharing in the same dreams. I found this aspect of the book totally griping.

This book is a definite must read for the fan of historical romance and a good crossover book for paranormal readers also.

PNR Reviews Copyright 2002
Reviewed by Cheryl Barr

Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted February 20, 2003


Based loosely on the old and tragic ballad Barbara Allen. It is set in 1826 England and Ireland.

Devan, Marquess of Castlereagh, has just returned to Dahlingham, his Ireland estate, to mourn Lady Katherine, who died in a great fire the night of the ball at Dakshire - the very night they were to run away to Gretna Green. Raven is a servant, found on the lawn of Dahlingham during his absence, near death. Nursed back to health by another servant, Raven has no memories of her past. Once recovered, she is given employment on the estate, tending to the laundry and the gardens.

Devan first notices Raven, from his library window. He summons the woman to the library, certain that once inspected closely, she will be little more than a shabby imitation of Lady Katherine. But when at last he looks into her eyes of deep lavender-blue, he is certain she can be none other than Katherine - until she speaks, and her thick Irish brogue confirms what his heart had, in reality, already known. Three days later, Devan orders Raven be moved from the servant's quarters to a suite of rooms on the third floor, determined to unlock the mystery of Raven's past and put an end to the disturbing dreams that have plagued him every night since the day she entered his life.

With the face of an angel, the body of Aphrodite and the tongue of a drunken Irishman, he's never met any woman so infuriating... so seductive... so... Realizing he's met his match, something tells him the woman will be his end yet.

From historical Ireland and its mystical legends, to the beau monde and the elegant ballrooms of Regency London, together, Devan and Raven discover the truth of her past, and a passionate love so strong it cannot be denied.


The Briar and the Rose
by Laura Mills-Alcott

Five Star
November 20, 2003
ISBN #1594140898
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