October 22, 2012

Blog Tour: Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1) by Fiona Paul – Review

Hey guys!  Thanks for stopping by for our tour stop for

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

presented by Razorbill Canada!

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.

Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1) by Fiona Paul
Publication Date:  October 30, 2012
Publisher:  Philomel
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

A murder mystery set in the Renaissance in beautiful Venice Italy.  Corset, murder, and mystery?  What more can a girl ask for?

I can’t even begin to imagine a time where it was customary for a family to choose whom their daughter will marry.  I mean really, you could end up with the sweetest man on earth, or an insane person, he could be your age, or many years older!  It’s truly a gamble, and the parents hold all the cards.

Such is the case for main protagonist, Cassandra Caravello.  Born into a wealthy family, whose mother and father are now deceased, Cass is betrothed to her lifelong friend, Luca.  Luca, who is in school abroad, and whom she hasn’t seen in nearly four years.

The story opens up at a funeral.  The funeral of Cass’ friend, Liviana.  Having a difficult time dealing with the funeral, Cass goes outside for a breath of fresh air where she ends up running into (literally) the super hot Falco.   Don’t think that is her only time of meeting this dashing fellow.  No, no…after paying a visit to Liviana’s mausoleum, Cass is shocked and stunned to find that, not only does she end up running into Falco again, but in the casket of where Liviana is supposed to be, the body of a courtesan who looks to have been strangled and had an “X” carved above the location of her heart.  And this is not the only body that both Falco and Cass encounter.

Falco and Cass decide to team up find who the mysterious woman is, what happened to her friend’s body, and who is responsible for murdering these woman.  But all their digging and snooping has put Cass in the spotlight, and the murderer has his sight set on her.  Now it’s a race against time to find the person responsible for all this death, before death comes knocking on Cass’ door.

Venom by Fiona Paul is completely full of mystery…obviously.  Set in a world where chivalry is not dead, and breathing is a challenge due to the corset, readers can’t help but get caught up in this addicting tale of murder.  The world created by Fiona Paul is one that anyone can easily get caught up in.  Who hasn’t dreamt of stepping into the days of the Renaissance!  The dresses…the romance…

The multiple twists and turns found within the pages had me intrigued for the entirety of the book.  Once I thought I had figured who the murderer could possibly be, another equation is brought forward, and I’m forced to rethink my decision.  Such is the way of a well written murder mystery.

The characters portrayed in Venom are unique unto themselves, all of which has personality traits that readers will thoroughly enjoy following.  And the characters who are evil and mean, are truly that!  I found Falco to be so sweet but immensely mysterious.  Cass knows that he is an apprentice to an artist, but there’s also so much about Falco that Cass doesn’t know…so much WE don’t know.  Can he be trusted?  Are his feelings true, or does he have a secret agenda?  I found Cass to be extremely brave.  But I also found that her ease of running around with Falco while she is supposed to be betrothed a little bothersome.  You hear her discussing the matter to herself and has brought it up with Falco as well, and yet she doesn’t stay away.  Cass gets mad at Falco for kissing her while he knows that she is to be married, and yet she continues on.  Take part of the blame there chick… It takes two to tango.

There are parts in the book where I was genuinely scared for Cass!  The buildups to those events were written so well, and I couldn’t help but get caught up in the moments.

Fans of murder mysteries will really enjoy Venom, and will find a new favorite author in Fiona Paul.

About the Author:

From author’s website

YA writer. Occasional RN. World traveler. Girl who moves turtles out of the road.

Fiona Paul is half geek-girl and half rock chick, pretty much the same as she was in high school.

Most of her extra money gets spent on travel. She can’t breathe if she spends too much time away from the ocean. She believe in making her own happiness instead of doing what the world tells her to do.

You should friend her here because she is feeling lonely! If you hate her books you can always unfriend her later, or better yet stay friends even though you have different likes and opinions.

Connect with the author:  Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

 Available for Purchase:
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  1. Natalie Cleary

    I love the sound of this and that cover is so pretty!!

  2. Carmen B.

    So glad to hear you enjoyed Venom! It’s hight on my list of new releases I neeeeed to buy :) I love it when you think you have it all firgured out only to be surprised with the next twist – even though honestly, the historical Venice setting was enough to draw me in ^^’ Great review, tells me what to expect without being spoilery! I can’t wait to meet Falco :)

  3. Leigh

    This seems like a book that would leave you predicting from the start (me gusta!) Thanks for the great review!

  4. Fiona Paul

    Glad you liked Venom. Thanks for being part of the Canadian blog tour, and for re-posting the delicious trailer :)

  5. Chapter by Chapter

    Thanks for stopping by!

  6. kimbacaffeinate

    I love the cover and a murder mystery in Italy sounds wonderful.. adding to my wishlist..don’t you wish sleeping was optional!

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