REVIEW: Belladonna by Fiona Paul
If you love books that mix up sub-genres, then this one is for you. Take a lush time in history and mix it with some gothic creepiness, then add in the suspense of a thriller, stir it up with a love triangle and some good friends who mean well and you’ll turn the pages furiously until the end.
Belladonna by Fiona Paul
Series: The Secrets of the Eternal Rose, Book 2
Category: Historical YA thriller with paranormal elements
Publisher: Philomel Books (releases July 16, 2013)
Rating 4 out of 5 Stars
Book and Review Courtesy of Romance Junkies.
BELLADONNA continues where VENOM left off in THE SECRETS OF THE ETERNAL ROSE series. This series should be read in order for the best enjoyment. If you haven’t read VENOM yet, I can’t promise that I won’t spoil that book a little bit for you in this review of the second book. They depend heavily on one another for familiarity of the characters and what they’ve experienced so far, so it might be best if you read my review of VENOM first.
Even though Falco has left the city, Cassandra Caravello can’t stop dreaming about him. Her fiancé, Luca de Paraga, has been completely attentive, and in her mind, Cassandra knows that he is her stable future. Falco, on the other hand, is full of mystery and secrets, depending on his livelihood as an artist, which has never been stable. Cass is attracted to both of them for different reasons and just hopes that she’s made the right decision.
When Luca is arrested for crimes against the church with the penalty of death, Cassandra’s whole world crumbles. Determined to prove his innocence, she must find the Book of the Eternal Rose.
Something sinister is going on in Venice and the answers lie in Florence where the Book of the Eternal Rose is rumored to be. Convincing her best friend, Mada, and Mada’s husband to accompany her to Florence, Cassandra and her handmaiden, Siena, plus Siena’s sister, Feliciana, set off on a dangerous journey in a city where evil is pulsing in paranoia and truth.
BELLADONNA is a historical young adult thriller with paranormal elements that keep the plotline fresh, exciting and captivating. The historical cities of Venice and Florence come alive while Cassandra tries to stay out of trouble, never leaving a stone unturned in her search for the truth and what will save Luca. With two heroes vying for Cassandra’s love and affection, you’re never quite sure who she’ll choose. Falco is dark and mysterious, tempting Cassandra into a world of danger and intrigue combined with the sexy allure of an artist. Luca is steadfast and responsible, promising Cassandra a life filled with honesty and security, combined with a lifetime of friendship. Will Cassandra give up the bad boy when Luca’s life is in her hands?
If you love gothic thrillers, then BELLADONNA will enthrall you with lush descriptions and engage you with a fast-paced suspense, filled with creepy villains. Cassandra is a brave heroine, even when she’s faced with what she fears most. I loved the plot and the creepy aura of the setting, which kept the story flowing from one exciting moment to another until the last page was turned. The worst part? Waiting for book three!
I can’t say much more than that without giving away too much. Adults will enjoy this series as much as teens, so why not team up with your favorite young adult for a reading marathon? I’m sure you’ll both be speculating right along with me about what’s going to happen next!
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