Release Date: July 1st 2013
Published By: HarperCollins Australia
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Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis:Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancé, 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 is innocent.
So begins her journey to Florence, a city haunted by whispers of corruption, secret soirees and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose. And home to Falco, who′s 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..
Review: Belladonna is the follow up book to Venom, and the second book in the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series.
Belladonna jumps right into where Venom left us. Cass is set to marry Luca and Falco has left her in pursuit of making a name for himself as an artist. Just when Cass feels her life is about to settle as she becomes Luca’s wife however, Luca is arrested for heresy and sentenced to death. Cass knows there’s more to it though, since Luca is devoutly religious and it’s not his style to speak out about the church.
In a bid to save his life, Cass travels to Florence to try and uncover what really happened and who is behind Luca’s wrongful conviction. Only, in doing so she may be endangering her own life.
This is such a wonderful series so far. I have enjoyed this series for many reasons, but I will start with the part that caught my eye initially and that is the beautiful covers to these books. They are absolutely stunning, and really capture the Renaissance Italy world that the story is built around as well as the beautiful dresses of that time period. The pages themselves within the book are absolutely stunning, and are lined with artwork that makes reading this book feel like such a treat.
But more than the physical beauty of this series, the story itself appeals to a really wide audience. It’s definitely got the historical fiction element as the strongest aspect, but then there’s a love triangle also (I understand some people have a love/hate with these, but this one was done right – I love this), there’s a mystery element to the story as well as some thriller aspects. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because Cass has to wear huge dresses and chopines and act all ladylike that she cannot kick ass, because she has proven for a second time in a row now that she is a strong and fearless character, and one that I’ve really come to admire.
This book definitely takes a darker turn than Venom did, as we’re now actually delving into the Secrets of the Eternal Rose itself, and finding out some of the dark secrets of this brotherhood. We’re finding out how dangerous they are in addition, and there’s some really close calls in this book.
I was really glad to see the return of Falco in this book, since he was probably my favourite character in Venom. We don’t see too much of him in this book, as the focus is clearly on Luca, but we get enough to know that there are certainly some interesting times coming ahead in the third book in this series!
I highly recommend this series, I am yet to be disappointed with anything Fiona Paul writes.