Thursday, 18 April 2013

#197 Book Review: Venom

Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1)
Release Date: 6 December 2012
Author: Fiona Paul
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
Source: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback
Where to Buy:  Fishpond | Booktopia
More Info: Goodreads

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?
Gorgeous! I love the girl's maroon dress, her mask and the background with the water canals of Venice. I think I prefer the Australian cover of Venom than the US cover!


Beauty, romance, murder...

When I first read the summary of Venom, I was absolutely excited to read the book. The setting of Italy during the Renaissance period, the mysteries and the romance, they all sound so appealing! The cover is also gorgeous. With my high expectations, I read the book and sadly, Venom didn't live up to my expectations.

The beginning of the story is actually quite exciting. Cass accidentally finds a dead body with a bloody X carved across the heart and so begins the story of her trying to find out the person behind all the murders with the help of Falco. The story itself is okay but some parts dragged a bit. The most enjoyable part of this book is perhaps the romance between Falco and Cass. Falco has many secrets but their moments together are romantic and quite forbidden since Falco is simply an artist whereas Cass comes from a respectable family. Fiona Paul's descriptions of the setting are also detailed and manage to capture the setting of Venice beautifully.

I actually find it hard to relate to Cass. I find her quite annoying as a character and constantly unable to make up her mind about the decisions she has to make throughout the story. Falco, on the other hand, is enjoyable to read about although I was really desperate to find out how Falco is related to the murders. Falco is quite a sweet character who knows the right thing to say to charm a girl's heart, just like how he charmed Cass in the story. Cass' fiancé, Luca, also appears in this book and I disliked him although it would be interesting to see how it will all work out for Cass, Luca and Falco in the next book!

Would you like to live in the Renaissance period, wearing beautiful dresses and attending glamorous balls? But can you imagine what would happen if a murder is lurking around? Venom is the first book in the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series. Although it didn't live up to my expectations, I did find the book enjoyable to a certain extent and I might still read the next book in the series, Belladona!
3 Forget-Me-Not flowers for Venom!
Thank you Harper Collins Australia for the review copy!


  1. wow, the Australian cover reminds me a lot of The Selection cover! I love the idea of this book/the setting a lot. I'm sorry that you found it hard to relate to Cass though; I hate it when the main character is annoying. I'm glad you found the book somewhat enjoyable though. Thanks for your honest review, Celine. :)

  2. I've never sen this cover of this one before and while it's gorgeous, I like the unique flavor of the US cover somehow. Still, I know this is a book I won't pick up because character connections are vital to my enjoyment of a novel. I'm sorry this book fell flat for you in that regard, but lovely review, Celine!(:

  3. I'm reading this at the moment and I'm actually loving it!! Looking at 4, perhaps 5 stars. Disappointed to hear you didn't love it like I am, but great review regardless Celine!

  4. Just picked up the Temple Wars book! Book 1 is fascinating and had me engaged from page one! You guys should check it out! Temple Wars


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