Title: Venom, Book 1 in The Secrets of the Eternal Rose series
Author: Fiona Paul
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Romance, Mystery
Links: Book Depository
Cassandra is part of Venice’s wealthy elite. Her world is one of fabulous gowns, masquerade balls and privilege, yet she longs for something more. While her fiancé is away in Paris, she has a chance meeting with an artist called Falco. He is attractive, audacious… and highly unsuitable.
When Cass stumbles upon the body of a murdered woman – with a bloody X carved across her heart – she’s drawn into a dangerous world of secret societies, courtesans and killers. Falco is quick to offer his assistance, but then Cass starts receiving death threats… Is Falco more involved than she imagined? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for someone she’s not even sure she can trust?
Why I Picked it Up:
I stumbled across this book in my local Big W and liked the look of the cover and the blurb. I’ve been to Venice before so I thought the setting might be interesting. Plus it’s something a little different to what I usually read and the reviews on GoodReads looked okay, so I bought it.
What I liked about it:
I liked Cass. I thought she was spunky and likeable without being too out of character for the time. And speaking of the time, I liked the setting of historical Venice. Some of the chapters were creepy – the author is quite good at the “scary” factor.
What I didn’t like about it:
It was long. Over 400 pages and drawn out in places. I like my novels fast paced so when an author takes 10 pages to get their character out of bed and into town, I start to get a little impatient. A lot of the descriptions were repetitive. Cass must have rode in about ten thousand gondola’s. The writing style never really grabbed me or sucked me in. I didn’t feel Cass’s passion for Falco, which sucked because the setting could have made it a pretty epic love story.
My Verdict: 2.5 stars.
What book did you just finish? Would you recommend it?