Tuesday, December 18, 2012



Publisher:  Harper Collins
Format:  Paperback 435 pages
Acquired:  From publisher for review

Beauty, romance, murder... A novel as stunning and seductive as Renaissance Venice itself.

Cassandra Caravello is part of Venice′s wealthy elite. Her world is one of fabulous gowns, society parties and privilege, yet she longs for something more. While her fiancé is away studying 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 another body is found and Cass starts receiving death threats... Is Falco more involved than she imagined? And will she be able to stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for someone she′s not even sure she can trust?

I've not read too many historical romance novels lately, so it was a nice change of pace to pick up Venom by Fiona Paul, especially as I just loved the cover (thanks to Laura at HarperCollins Australia).

Love triangle.......Check!
Arranged marriage......Check!
Bad Boy....Check!
Boring Boy turned Hotty Hubby to Be.......Check!

If you get my drift - Venom has the ingredients for a very enjoyable YA drama/Romance.  Fiona Paul's first novel, Venom (The Secrets of The Eternal Rose #1), dishes up some wonderful, visually entertaining pages. 

Within a few pages I was in the world of Cassandra Caravello (Cass).  A place where young women had a chaperone even to walk to town, arranged marriages were normal and fraternizing with young artists was just not done in Cass's social circle!

Cobblestone streets and rivers/waterways congested with gondola's.  Stone buildings, palazzo's, bridges and Venice.....descriptions throughout were well done and made the imagery so easy. 

So when Cass meets Falco, a secret relationship forms and helps to mould Cass into a young woman torn between family and social obligations....and the desire to find herself. 

Included in this story are murders, revenge and a secret society. And some grave robbers! Who can Cass trust?  Will she marry her betrothed Luca - the boy she hasn't seen for 3 years...or run away with young artist Falco - the one who has her all heated up?

Personally, I'm rooting for Luca!  There's more to him than just a boring young man who now just happens to have become somewhat hot!  He's hinted at a secret society.....and I am sure we will find out lot's more in the next installment Belladonna. 



  1. This sounds really good! I'm not sure who I'd choose! The bad boy or the newly hot guy! Anyway, great review! And I love this cover too :)

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

    1. Thanks Jesse - yeah I think there will be some that will find choosing the guy difficult! Marissa

  2. Sigh! This is one of those books that I feel I read a different version of. I didn't like this at all in fact I DNF it LOL.

    Different strokes I guess.

    Happy Christmas, Marissa!

    1. I did notice that on Goodreads or somewhere you did a DNF. I have had on NG for ages and was supposed to read it. I will put it further down my list now. It intrigued me at first. But I saw a few reviewers were up and down. When I get like this I like to read book and 2 together and get a feel that way. :)

  3. I don't read much historical fiction either, but this does sound good.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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