I put off writing this review for awhile because I wanted to feel differently about the book that I actually did.

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin… and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

First off, I will say that I loved the setting of this book. Every time I read it I felt like I was pulled into the Prague of days gone by and that I could just step outside my bedroom and onto a gondola. I really liked the feel of the book. It was dark and creepy and when Cass was searching around a graveyard in the middle of the night I was doubly happy to pull my blanket up around my shoulders.

And that building with the weird experiments? bleh. *shudder*

Other than that I was a little disappointed with most of the book.

Though this may be because I had clear idea of what I wanted the book to be going into it and then it wasn’t that at all. Like…AT ALL. So that may have clouded my enjoyment of the book quite a bit.

My biggest problem with this book is that we learned absolutely nothing about the Secrets of the Eternal Rose. I mean we know the Eternal Rose is some sort of (presumably secret) society but that’s it. The snippets we got from the Book of the Eternal Rose made me think they would play a much bigger role and that Cass was going to be recruited in and what not. But they never even came up.

Also, I didn’t like Falco, the main love interest in this book. But really enjoy the little we got to see of Cass’ fiance. Falco just struck me as a liar throughout the entire thing. And like he was always trying to pressure Cass into more than she wanted to do. I don’t know. He just bothered me a lot.

And, this might be getting a little nit-picky here but every now and then some modern words and turn of phrases would show up (I specifically remember “okay” and “on a date”) and that just pulled me right out of the story. Though, it should be noted that I read an ARC and it’s possible that this has been addressed in the final copy.

I’m honestly unsure if I will continue reading this series. I liked parts of the story and sometimes I really liked Cass. But overall I wasn’t in love with any of the characters or the plot.

Venom is released here in North America tomorrow, are you planning on picking it up?

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