Cassandra Caravello has everything a girl could desire: elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, invitations to the best parties, and a handsome, wealthy fiancé—yet she longs for something more. 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 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. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a poor artist with a mischievous grin . . . and a habit of getting into trouble. Will 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, romance, and mystery weave together in a novel that’s as seductive and stunning as the city of Venice itself.
Fiona Paul's Venom was beyond what I expected. Originally, since there was so much hype, I was unsure if Venom could actually hold my interest. There was so much buzz surrounding it, that when I stumbled across a copy I just had to read it. I'm not really one to read period pieces but the plot summary was interesting enough to pull me in and it was Venom's main character, Cass, that kept me reading.
On the very first page, there was a quote encased in black. It was the perfect way to start an unconventional murder mystery. The quote was intricate enough to peak my interest but didn't give anything away. As I continued reading the quotes became more entwined with the story and I can't help but think they have something to do with the end of the series.
As the plot and characters evolved, I just couldn't stop reading. It was one of those novels that you read until you fall asleep exhausted with the book still open on your chest. Needless to say I loved it. The characters, although they were from a different period, were extremely relatable. I especially loved Paul's creation of a villain that was just as wounded as the other characters.
There wasn't too much or too little of any aspect in this book. There were hot boy vying for the attention of a kick-ass female lead, a fight scene that made my heart leap into my throat, and an inner dialogue of a teenage girl going through thee same issues that modern day girls are plagued with. I got action, romance and angst in just the right doses. Paul's balanced out characters and plot just continued to surprise me.
Fiona Paul created a magical world that placed me right in the center. Paul managed to keep the story steeped in tradition, while making the concepts modern enough to make today's readers fall in love. Venom is the perfect book for anyone looking for love, action and a city filled to the brim with secrets.
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