Book Review: Venomous Kiss (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1) by Fiona Paul

15835213you can find the book at:
Barnes & Noble
Author’s website

my review:
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Set in Renaissance Venice, Venomous Kiss is a world of secret meetups in graveyards, courtesans, and hidden societies. When Cass finds out that her friend’s dead body was stolen, she’s pushed into this whole new world, alongside a young painter, in search of the truth.

I was really excited read this book. I mean, a murder mystery set in Venice with masquerade balls and hidden secrets. Everything about this books screamed amazing at the first look. But the premise is much better than its execution. The dialogue and pacing was enough to not drop this book. The depiction of Venice was what I liked the most. A city that appears gorgeous but underneath it all, there is plenty of squalor buried deep within. But everything else was simply boring, in my opinion.

So what went wrong?

The romance. Oh gosh,  I actually hated Falco. There’s nothing appealing about him at all? I guess it was the bad boy attitude which attracted Cass to him, but once that fades, he’s annoying. He’s constantly lying to her, and takes her to unsavoury places, and just leaves her there despite knowing it’s extremely dangerous. Then comes Luca, who I actually preferred over Falco. He’s lost so much and still cares for Cass and wants to genuinely get to know her. But then he turns all mysterious and I stopped caring. I get bored of that “I want to tell you but it’s too dangerous and I need to protect you” pretty easily.

Cass is mainly driven by the fact it was her friend, Livia, whose body was stolen. But we’re never given a proper explanation of their relationship. Cass goes on about how no one truly is her friend and having clarification on her friendship with Livia would have help to undersand why she’s so desperate to solve the crime. The book begins with her funeral, and Cass just complains about her dress and tries to stop her aunt from falling asleep? That doesn’t sound like this girl was ever your friend, you’re just there to be respectful.

Overall, Venomous Kiss is an interesting tale but the characterisation felt flimsy. When the antagonist is finally revealed, I was surprised mainly because I actually forgot that person was in the book. But I’m interested in how this series will continue.

Kindle Edition, 445 pages
Published October 30th 2013 by Philomel (first published October 30th 2012)




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