"A good paranormal historical"
In 1827 Devan feels consumed with grief and guilt because
he failed to save his beloved Katherine from the fire.
Drink fails to help so unable to cope, Devan flees London
for his Irish home. When he arrives in Ireland, Devan sees
a ghost as he observes an urchin uncannily resembling
Katherine. Devan brings Raven into his home though her
tale is peculiar as she suffers from amnesia. In exchange
for room and board, Devan asks Raven to tell him if she
recalls any of her lost memories. As he watches his guest
act, he wonders if he might be the victim of a clever con
or the recipient of a second chance at love.
Raven dreams of a life, but it is not her nineteenth
century existence. Instead she relives the seventeenth
century life of Mairead, the secret lover of aristocrat
Seamus. Mairead believed he betrayed their love, so she
cursed him, but once she learned the truth failed to free
their souls before they died. How their tragedy connects
to Raven and Devan requires reading the novel.
The Briar And The Rose is a strong historical paranormal
romance that brilliantly uses nineteenth century tidbits
(and to a lesser degree from the 1600s) to anchor the
otherworldly elements into a warm tale that readers of
both sub-genres will relish. Devan and Raven make a
delightful couple and through her dreams the audience will
see what happened to the secret love between Mairead and
Seamus without slowing down the plot. Laura Mills-Alcott
provides fans with a memorable story that will make its
audience demand more haunting love stories like this one.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted November 13, 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
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
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.