Sunday, November 11, 2012

Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose # 1) by Fiona Paul Review

Name: Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose # 1)
Author: Fiona Paul
Publisher: Philomel
Release Date: October 30th, 2012
Format: ARC Copy
Buy the book on Amazon
432 pages

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.

My Review:

I had high expectations for this book, and while it was not quite as amazing as I had expected it to be, I still enjoyed it very much.  Paul is a terrific writer who crafted every scene perfectly and made me feel not just as if I was reading this book but as if I was actually experiencing it.  I could see every blue sky, every creepy headstone at the cemetery, and every painting that Falco elegantly painted.

Cass lives life in high society with her elderly aunt after the death of her parents, but she never feels fully part of her society.  She often takes long walks in the cemetery by herself at night and finds herself wandering around the city in parts where it is not acceptable for someone of her status to be seen.  Once she meets Falco, however, she begins to realize that leaving her high society manners behind is not quite as easy as she once thought.  When she discovers a murdered girl by her house, she must team up with the mysterious bad boy artist Falco and travel in the middle of the night to questionable places in order to find the killer before he finds her.

Besides Paul's brilliant writing style, one of my other favorite parts of this book was how it encompassed so many different genres.  While much of the book surrounded Cass and Falco's romance, there was also a great deal of mystery, thrill, and some amazing action scenes in the end, as well.  The fact that this book took place in the 1600's in Venice and contained scenes of gondola-rowing also made me enjoy it even more.  There was a somewhat typical love triangle throughout the book, however, where Cass has to choose between the mysterious but poor Falco who quickly steals her heart and the sweet and boring but wealthy Luca, her childhood friend and now fiancé.  The one thing that did make the love triangle better was Cass's choice at the end of the book; she clearly made a decision that was best for herself rather than just one the boys and I can't wait to see the trouble that her choice brings about in the next book.

Overall, I thought that Venom was a great read.  While there were some parts that seemed to be a bit boring with too many descriptions, I was still having trouble putting the book down.  I would definitely recommend this to fans of romance with a little bit of historical fiction and a whole lot of mystery!  I can't wait to read the sequel when it comes out!

My Rating:


  1. AWESOME REVIEW!!! I can't wait to read this one Jaime :)

  2. The cover of this book is gorgeous and it sounds fantastic. I have it waiting on my shelf to read but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I love books that don't really have just one genre so I am definitely looking forward to this one. Happy reading!

  3. I've heard a ton of great things about this book and I wasn't planning on reading it because I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction... but your review has definitely made me want to read it! Fantastic review. :D

  4. I haven't heard much about this one, but it looks interesting. Plus, I love the cover. I do love historical fiction, romance, and mystery, so I may have to check this one out.

  5. The cover is simply stunning, and I do love a good mystery. I'll surely check it out. Thanks!


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