I received this book for free from blog tours, requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1
Published by Philomel on October 30th, 2012
Genres: Historical, Love & Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: blog tours, requested from publisher
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.
When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?
Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.
Cass is an orphan, engaged to a boy she barely knows, she must marry him for her future. Yet her freedom is within her grasp and she wants out of the restraints. When she meets a new boy named Falco, and their chemistry seems to ignite at their first encounter, she realizes there’s more to the mysterious and attractive boy than he seems.
I was so excited when razOrbill sent out this invitation for the blog tour. I signed up as soon as I could. The ARC arrived so quickly, and I thought I had loads of time to read it. Nope. Didn’t happen. For the first time I couldn’t make the deadline and I felt terrible. But luckily I couldn’t stop reading Venom. It sucks you right into Cass’ world set in renaissance Venice, Italy. (Yes the city that floats on water with the canals and gorgeous palazzos)
The vivid descriptions of the scenery remind me of the depth of J.K. Rowling‘s writing. Detailed to the point of having the scene fill out right before your very eyes. I LOVE Fiona Paul’s writing. She is a star at weaving the characters together in one chapter, and then grabbing your attention in the next. It was such a joy to read. The Renaissance Era was clearly researched and developed very well. The pacing is slow. It’s super slow, it dragged on. I felt it could have been shortened. Maybe I’ll read the final copy to see if there are any changes! I wouldn’t mind re-reading this one.
Cass is a character you want to root for. She’s a socialite, yet has the decency to talk to her fellow hand maidens, cooks, and gardeners. Her wealthy upbringing doesn’t damage her personality at all, it makes her more humble and aware of what she has. Then there’s Falco..WOW. That is pretty much how I can sum up his character. (Can I just say I picture him to be a younger Matt Bomer?)
Overall, a novel worth buying and sitting on your bookshelf because not only is it it beautiful on the inside, it’s just as gorgeous on the outside. Full of mystery, intrigue, suspense, murder, ROMANCE, chemistry, and characters that make you fall in love with…Fiona Paul, I heart you.MUST GET THE NEXT BOOK!