May 10, 2013

Venom by Fiona Paul

Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1)
Venom by Fiona Paul
Series: The Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1
Source: Bought*
Publisher: Philomel
Publication Date: October 30, 2013
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancĂ©, 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 fiancĂ©, 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.
I have to say, Venom really surprised me. I mean, I love historical and strong lead characters, but for some reason I had convinced myself that this wasn't for me. But then Inky from Book Haven Extraordinaire kept telling me that it was amazing. She finally convinced me, and here we are! *applause for Inky*

I was hooked from the very first page! There was intrigue and romance, a mystery-- all wrapped up and served to me with a pretty little bow.

Cass was a really good main character. She was headstrong and fierce, with a thirst for knowledge and freedom that so many characters just don't have-- and I personally love it, because I have that too. It gives her a certain depth, on the grounds that I can relate to her. She was also really brave and impetuous, kind of flighty, but overall a great character.

But Falco really takes the cake for me-- that is one beautifully delicious boy. An artist. In the beginning, he may have been a little rough-talking, but he got over that right quick. My only real issue with him is something that I won't (can't, spoilers) explain in this review. Basically, the boy makes some bad choices. But I'm over it.

Although Cass and Falco really made this for me, I also really enjoyed the mystery. It was so creepy, and it kept me turning pages like a maniac. I skipped back and forth about who it could be, until the very last reveal. By then there was no hiding the guy.

All in all, Venom was a great read. I liked the mystery, and I can't wait to read more about Cass and Falco.
Some living things prefer the dark, thriving in the shadows of tombstones and crypts, flowering amidst the dead. Others tend toward the sun, blooming in the light, embracing it's warmth. ~ Pg. 28, ARC
*Refunded on account that it was an ARC. Basically, I bought it, but then I reported that it was an ARC and then the seller refunded my money. I'm sorry, I just had a hard time labeling that.

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