Format: Kindle format (provided by author)
Release Date: February 1, 2013
Set in London in 1818, it's the story of Rose Collingwood, daughter of a baron, who wanted to play Portia in The Merchant of Venice. To accept the part at the Theatre-Royal at Haymarket, the very proper young lady assumes the disguise of Miss Lily Underwood, the actress. Who knew all of London would soon be at her feet sending her love notes? One such Valentine goes awry only to be found by the dashing Irish barrister, Morgan O'Connell. Though he would have seduced the actress, Morgan must court the lady. Given three choices much like Portia's suitors, can she resist the handsome Irish rogue? And who is it who is following her?
Whether it's a full length novel or a novella, Regan Walker sure knows how to write a romance. She creates realistic but interesting characters who come to life within the first few pages.
The Shamrock and the Rose is another romantic adventure by the author of Racing with the Wind and The Holly and the Thistle. At only 56 print pages in length, The Shamrock and the Rose explores the social and religious conflicts when English bred Rose Collingwood catches the attention of Irishman Morgan O'Connell. Their attraction is instantaneous but filled with obstacles including hidden identities and anonymous notes that start off as admiration for Rose but quickly progress to disturbing and threatening.
Without revealing too much (it is a novella after all), I will say that The Shamrock and the Rose is my favorite story from Regan Walker. I love stories where the hero and heroine are from different social standings and must overcome not only their own upbringings but the disapproval of the society they live in.
One thing about the hero Morgan that made me relate to him was the fact that he was infatuated with the character Portia from The Merchant of Venice, much like I tend to become infatuated with characters in romance novels and end up wishing I had a boyfriend or friend like certain characters. Morgan's infatuation with Portia could have been an obstacle in his relationship with Rose, who played the character on stage, but thankfully Morgan had no problem seeing Rose as herself and not as the character she played.
Rose, although an actress, is a bit naive at times, as most young women were in 1818, but she still manages to be brave, witty and somewhat independent. A woman who tries to find her own way through life while defying social rules is a character to be admired.
The Shamrock and the Rose is a worthy read and for fans who are eagerly awaiting Walker's next book in the Agents of the Crown trilogy, it is just enough to satisfy and make the wait a little easier.