Friday, July 12, 2013

Book Review: Belladonna (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #2) by: Fiona Paul

Release Date: July 16, 2013 from Philomel
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

"In Renaissance Italy, love, lust, intrigue and secret societies converge to stunning results!

In the second in the stunning Secrets of the Eternal Rose series, Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancĂ©, Luca. But Luca seems to have his own secrets. When he’s arrested by soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass’s life is once again thrown into chaos. She must save Luca, and that means finding the Book of the Eternal Rose—the only evidence that will prove he’s innocent.

So begins her journey to Florence, a city haunted by whispers of vampirism, secret soirees and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose. And home to Falco, who is working for the Order’s eerily stunning leader, the Belladonna herself.

Can Cass trust her heart to lead her to the truth this time?

Nothing is as it seems in this seductive thriller, where the truth may be the deadliest poison of all."

My Thoughts:

This book was amazing! I devoured it within a few hours and nothing could pry this book from my fingers. I easily lost myself in Renaissance Venice and Florence. I got so lost in the story that when the ending arrived I was honestly shocked and then mad. I couldn’t believe I had flown through the story so quickly. The ending really snuck up on me and left me searching for more. I actually threw my book in a fit of rage (only onto my bed, but still) when I realized that the story was over. I am not ashamed to admit that I threw a minor (okay not so minor) hissy fit.

I really came to love our main character Cassandra, or Cass, over the course of Belladonna. She is just incredibly strong. I am sure there are some out there who would contradict this, but we must take into account the time period. Does Cass always make the best decisions? Probably not. However, she always does what she feels she needs to do and that is something to be admired in a character. I may question her decisions and I may get frustrated when she jumps to conclusions, but I still adore her to bits!

The one thing I really missed over the course of this book was Falco. He was not nearly as big a presence as he was in Venom. However, I still loved every single second I got of him. He is just so vibrant and passionate and emotional. However, he is also quick to jump to conclusions and he really does wear his heart on his sleeve. My heart broke for him but I also got angry with him. In the end though, I absolutely adore him and wish things could be different for him and Cass. With all of that being said though, I kind of loved and appreciated that the story stood on its own without Falco. That Cass and what she needed to do drove the plot and not simply what needed to be done with Falco. As much as it hurts me to say it, Falco was not essential to the storyline and I kind of love that it was the heroine that stole the show… but I still missed Falco. 

Since I mentioned Falco, I guess it is only fair I mention Luca as well. See I’m torn with Luca. I don’t hate him, I can’t, he really is a wonderful guy… BUT he gets in the way of my Cass and Falco happily ever after that I am 100% behind. But HE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW HE IS IN THE WAY, so see I can’t hate him. I actually kinda want to smoosh him, just not as much as I want to smoosh Falco. So my new solution is that Cass can take Luca and I will be there when Falco needs a shoulder to cry on. Good plan? I think so. 

What I love most about this series is the way the story unravels slowly yet never feels as if it drags. Every clue is pulled apart piece by piece, making it incredibly difficult to guess where the story is going. Sure I was able to piece some of it together, but all of it? Not a chance. I love solving the mystery along with Cass. Then the ending! It crushed my soul! I need the next book and I need it now! 

In case you missed it, I absolutely adored Belladonna. I absolutely love this series. It is so different from the books I normally read and I find it very refreshing. I cannot wait to see how the story wraps up. So until then, I will sit here sobbing quietly in a corner.


  1. Cass sounds like a strong and fantastic to read about main character

  2. Quite the ringing endorsement, Teresa! ;) Good luck in your plan of capturing Falco's heart when his is broken. LOL This sounds wonderful and I love historicals, so I'm headed over to GR to add this (and Venom) to my TBR. Thanks! ;)

  3. I love your enthusiasm! I really need to give this series a try at some point. Great review, Teresa!

  4. Loved that first line of your review!! I'm already sold just by reading that!!! :D And that setting! Love that!! And the characters sound like they really make the story! Definitely loved this review,girl. Awesome enthusiasm :D

  5. Lol, you are too funny. I love your Luca/Falco plan. I totally forgot what happened in Venom, but I def wanna read this book. Might have to wait though since it sounds like the ending is torture. Great review!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

    1. Hehe thanks! I think it's a great plan. The ending is a bit torturous and I need Starling now! So waiting may be smart lol

  6. I love when books take place in foreign countries because I don't have the money to travel right now, so I live vicariously through characters in the stories I read. I've actually been to Venice and Florence before, so I especially like reading about places that I've been because I can imagine the setting even more clearly.


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