Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1) by Fiona Paul
Release Date: October 30th, 2012
Genre: Mystery/Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 STARS
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.
Ahh a mystery in Venice during the Renaissance with a certain blue eyed painter...who wouldn't be able to resist? Oh I haven't read a good mystery or even historical fiction (at least I think it is..correct me if I'm wrong) in such a long time! Fiona Paul did a brilliant job capturing the heart of the Renaissance and Venice itself!! She used Venice's setting to her advantage when writing Venom and I'm glad setting was important. Usually authors don't make a big deal out of the setting even if it could come to use.
I just loved the plot of Venom!! There were many unexpected twists that had me frustrated but it made the book awesomer! I seriously kept thinking I knew who the murderer was but when it was revealed....face palm!!! Fiona just keeps you guessing till the very end of the book! She also shows both sides to Venice..the one Cass lived in and the one Cass never thought of living in.
As for the characters, they were decent. Cass felt like a good heroine but too trusting. Especially when it comes to Falco. I mean DUDE you just met him! And he's in a graveyard...does that not make you suspect anything??? But I liked that she wasn't a snob and actually wanted to find the murderer even though she knew it meant risking her life and going out of her safety zone. Falco annoyed me and while he may have genuinely liked Cass but they just didn't seem to click in my opinion. I will however say though that I really enjoyed his mysterious aura and awesome blue eyes! Luca, her fiancé, is a sweet character, nothing extraordinary. He protected Cass as much as he could, cudos to him for that. But he was pretty sexist thinking that woman weren't as capable as guys. And guys back then may have thought like that, but it still bothered me.
The romance had me conflicted. As I said before, I felt that Cass and Falco didn't have a connection. And it seemed like they didn't know each other that well. Their relationship or whatever they had seemed like it took a fast turn even though it kinda escalated in the middle of the book. I'm still kinda iffy on Luca's and Cass's relationship. It would help if I saw them interact more and see more on how Luca felt. But I am really glad at how Fiona ended the book and how she dealt with it. I'm neutral on this one, although I may be leaning toward Luca...
Overall, Venom will capture your hearts through Cass's adventure and of course the beautiful city of Venice. Historical fiction has never been my favorite genre but Venom totally change my view on what I thought about it. When you read it just remember: Everyone has their secrets ;P
***And don't forget to check on every Thursday because I'll be posting my answers or the Venom Readalong!