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Belladonna (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #2)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  883 ratings  ·  170 reviews
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 fiancé, Luca. But Luca seems to have his own secrets. When he’s arrested by soldier
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 16th 2013 by Philomel (first published July 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
An open letter to all the nice guys in literature:

Dear "nice guys,"

On behalf of women everywhere (or at least the rational, normal, not-stupid ones), I apologize for this book.

By "nice guys," I don't mean guys who slap the label on themselves haphazardly in order to absolve the fact that they are incapable of getting a girl because they don't expend any damn effort, I mean guys who are genuinely awesome. Guys who risk everything for the woman they love. Guys who focus on friendship first. Guys w
Oct 13, 2014 Iness marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
They change the cover for this!


Why?? The old ones were beautiful!


Dear editor, stop doing this! Please!
**WARNING: Incoherent Gif Review Ahead. Proceed with Caution**



Oh look...I died.

Yeah. Pretty much. Venom was totally awesome. It fulfilled every dream that my Historical loving heart could desire. But this book. AAAH. Fiona picks up Bella from the well built set
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
I received this book from Fiona Paul a mere two days ago in exchange for an honest review. It will be hard to express how amazing I think this book is-- it's everything I wanted the first to be, and Fiona Paul is blossoming as an author.

Belladonna is a thrilling follow up to Venom, and starts us a few weeks after Venom ends. Cass is still living with her aunt Agnese, engaged to the handsome and honorable Luca, but she is still head over heels for the dashing, young artist, Falco, that has left h
3.5/5 stars.

I want to state up-front that Belladonna is probably the most difficult book I've ever tried to review. The truth is that my feelings while reading this book were literally all over the place: I was frustrated, caught up, annoyed, cheering, sad, tense, and anxious pretty much constantly (and my Goodreads Status Updates prove this), which means that, in terms of storytelling, this book excels quite well. But at the same time, I had such a difficult time with aspects of this story, tha

After finishing Venom not too long ago, I knew I wanted to read the sequel, and luckily for me it had just come out. The redesign of the covers is starting to grow on me; the hardback I read from didn't have those broken pages on the sides, which I appreciated - after all, you can't properly flip through a book when the publishers decide to include those, and though they are pretty they can get very annoying. It took me a while to get into the first book in this series, so I worried about having
Annabelle Marie Veronica
*****FINAL RATING: 4.65 STARS*****

I am a huge, huge fan of Venom. Everybody knows that, because I literally Never. Shut. Up. About it. Which is fine by some of you. It probably annoys others of you, but you love me anyway. It was a fantastic, wonderful book, and in my humble opinion Belladonna was even better in more ways than one. The writing has improved immensely, and I found the plot much more entertaining. The characters are also more mature and developed and overall it was a wonde
First off, I want to say that this series somehow awakens my wild and crazy streak. While in most books I want the heroine to act reasonably, reading this story I was all like “You go, Cass!” with a mad glint in my eyes, while understanding perfectly well that this is wrong and dangerous. Is it laced with some substance or what? ☺ May be just so, if the titles “Venom” and “Belladonna” are any indication ☺ What I’m trying to say here is that *mostly* I’m not angry and frustrated with all the stup ...more
Allison Grace

Belladonna was a REALLY action-packed and was the complete opposite from the first book. Belladonna had all the qualities of an AMAZING and compelling book.

The book starts off with Luca getting arrested. It's really weird for everyone-and for Cass- that golden-boy Luca would be arrested for such a big crime against the Church.

He tells her that Joseph Dubois (from book 1) was probably behind his arrest and that he wants the Book of Eternal Rose, which Luca 'claimed' he had. Cass then goes on a tr
I know I bashed on "Venom" a little bit in my review a week ago, but "Belladonna" is a step up. The second book of the "Secrets of the Eternal Rose" trilogy (the third being due out in March 2014), it truly does incorporate more of the morbid and creepy and unknown as a good mystery novel should. While the romantic/emotional drama was still present, it didn't make me think Cass's every waking hour was spent agonizing over how unfair her life turned out.

When Cass's fiance Luca is falsely charged
the golden witch.
Okay, guys, if you liked "Venom", you're going to totally fall head over heels for "Belladonna". "Belladonna" builds upon "Venom" in every single way, and ups the stakes to every single extreme. There's also a bit of a potential bit of a retelling of a real-life person, and it's just...awesome. We also get a semi-resolution of the love triangle posed in book one. This review may have spoilers for book one, so if you haven't read book one, you might want to hold off on reading this review. Either ...more
I should have stopped with the first one. I felt like this book had even less of an interesting mystery and just more of the usual "I love Falco, but I mustn't since poor Luca... but I love Falco!" I would have been quite happy if Falco died. Cass was annoying and I just couldn't connect with any of the characters. There was some action, but not enough to keep me really interested. I had to force myself to read the last 40 pages (which I predicted the ending to anyway). It was by no means a terr ...more
Falco didn't return until 40% in :-(
I don't know what to think of this one. I didn't like it as much as the first but it was exciting towards the end.
Sydney →☺
Nov 17, 2012 Sydney →☺ marked it as to-read
Give me more Falco!
Giselle at BO-OK NERD Canada
Cass is back living with her aunt and still engaged to marry Luca. When people come to take away Luca for no reasons whatsoever, it’s up to Cass to help clear his name. Together with her friends, she sets her sights on Florence to find out where the Book of the Eternal Rose which leads to Luca’s innocence. What she wasn’t planning on was seeing Falco with his new employer, the ever beautiful Bella. Cass is back in the second installment of the Secret of the Eternal Rose series and she finds hers ...more
3.5 Stars
I did not expect this book to so drastically change my opinion of both Falco and Luca, but it did. Cassandra is trying to move on with her life and accept that she will be married to Luca, and she does a pretty good job until Luca is put in jail for heresy. As everything starts to unravel, the Order of the Eternal Rose seems to be in the middle of it once again. While the graveyard scenes in Venom were very chilling, I think that some of the detective work that Cas has to do was even cr
This picks up right where we left off. Still confused about her feelings for Luca, and heartbroken over Falco Cassnadra is going to try with Luca.

Cassandra never imagined Luca being arrested, and definitely not to be executed but that will happen if she can't put together the clues. So she takes off for Florence to get to the bottom of this disaster. While there it seems to be fate to run into Falco, and everything comes back to her the feelings and memories but she didn't imagine he would have
Sarah Fayek
This follow-up to Venom is filled with fast-paced action, non-stop suspense, and killer epic romance in the journey toward solving a mystery of murder, crime, and the hidden secrets of immortality. Fiona Paul takes her readers on an unforgettable adventure through the early era of Renaissance Italy with amazing and lovable characters.

Character development increases 10-fold in this second installment. All characters seem to have their unique share of personality, making each individual instantly
This book you guys, holy crap, this book! I absolutely adored Venomso when the lovely Sara from gifted me a copy, I was ecstatic! I delved into it immediately. For the first hundred pages I was a little worried that I would not enjoy it as much as I had Venom because the plot seemed to be moving a little slowly. This is not to say that I didn't enjoy them because I did, just not as much as I had hoped to. But as soon as I got past the reintroduction stage, the ...more

Dreams are the portal to our fears, and a harbinger of what may come to pass. Thus we must call the most valuable insights of our sleeping minds, unafraid, or risk life's greatest mysteries eluding us forever

Setting:Venice and Florence, Italy; the Renaissance

Coverly Love?:No!!!! I much preferred the other cover design to this one. This looks cheesy and rather contrite. Blah!

Plot:After the events of the first book, Luca and Cass are officially engaged. But no sooner has the story begun then Luca
In the media release sheet included with my copy of Belladonna, this statement from Andrea Cremer was included as part of "Praise for Venom":
Venom renders the canals of Renaissance Venice frightening and irresistible in a sensual tale where no one can be trusted and passions kill.
Well, replace "canals of Renaissance Venice" with "streets of Renaissance Florence" and BAM that statement pretty much summarises the awesomeness that is Belladonna. The mystery side of things was so interesting- what e
Title: Belladonna (Book 2 of The Secrets of the Eternal Rose series)
Author: Fiona Paul
Ratings: 3 Stars

I guess I was expecting something more from the second book. To be honest, I really did enjoy the first book immensely. I felt as though Fiona Paul really got the feel of the setting as well as the characters down perfectly. But, mainly, I loved how her book didn't jump on the paranormal bandwagon.

I jumped the gun on thinking that...

The book starts off with Cass' husband, Luca, being arrested by
I won’t talk about this book in too much depth because it is a sequel (and a very good one at that) but what I do want to say is that Fiona Paul has somehow successfully lured me into the world of 17th Century Venice and it's going to be very hard to leave.
I am not usually one to read Historical fiction that's why it is such an achievement of Fiona Pauls to draw me into The Secrets of the Eternal Rose Series. She writes in a way that is both modern and easy to comprehend and a way that clearly
Loved this!! It's a really great sequel, and I thoroughly enjoyed jumping back into the renaissance Italy setting. It was just as creepy and mysterious as the first book, if not more so! I loved the plot developments involving the Order of the Eternal Rose, it definitely kept me guessing. I liked how Cass still had her strong-willed personality. I thought the romance aspect suffered some, and was not as prevalent. I also still have some unanswered questions, but hopefully they will be addressed ...more
Fiona Paul has done it again! I absolutely loved everything about "Venom": the lush setting, the gothic plot, the headstrong Cass, the historical details that made me feel as though I were in Renaissance Florence. And those wonderful things are all present in "Belladonna", plus more complications to the already complicated love triangle, deeper explorations of the macbre and powerful secret society, possible vampires, and a beautiful villainess based (I'm guessing) on the infamous Countess of Ba ...more
I read this book in 11 hours, only putting it down once to sleep for a few hours. I don't know what it is about this series, but I find it so entrancing. Every single character just comes so alive and you get so immersed in the life of the main character, Cass. I can't even begin to express how amazing this series is.

There's action and mystery and... *sigh* I just can't even begin to describe the pure,Heavenly amazingness of this series.
Jules Goud
Not bad.

The only thing that I really didn't like. Cass's love life.

She was so annoying. Falco, Falco, Falco, I love you! But, no. I refuse to think about you because I can't. But I just love you so much! No, I'm betraying Luca. He could die in jail while I'm thinking about Falco. But Falco just gets my blood pumping.

Seriously. Just friggin choose. It would save us all a lot of grief.

Good thing? We finally know what the hell the Order of the Eternal Rose is. A creepy society, but it is no longer
Khalia Hades
Cass shrieks awake. She is still having nightmares after her narrow escape from a killer. She is trying to put it all behind her and settle into her life. That means reconciling with her fiancé Luca and letting go of Falco. Cass and Luca are getting along and things are going well, but her heart is torn. She clutches tightly to the one and only letter she received from Falco since he left. Is it possible to be in love with two people? Then tragedy strikes. Guards storm the villa and arrest Luca ...more
I read some reviews before starting this instalment. And woah, what an exceptionally stupid idea. I usually avoid other reviews while reading a series, but I was too curious this time and promptly got a shock. So much dissing Falco, so much dislike, I was personally hurt.
Granted, he´s quite controversial a character, but that´s what makes him interesting. There is nothing black and white about him, deciding whether he´s good or bad is nearly impossible. He just lives up to his own expectations
Gizella Tóth
Biztos égő, de nekem magyarul is tetszett. :)
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Falco/Luca 10 53 Nov 09, 2013 05:45AM  
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Fiona Paul is a pseudonym for author Paula Stokes


Please contact me via email or twitter.

If you're looking for a review copy of BELLADONNA, please contact Penguin's marketing department directly at Thanks and happy reading! :)

More about Fiona Paul...

Other Books in the Series

Secrets of the Eternal Rose (3 books)
  • Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1)
  • Starling (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #3)
Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1) Starling (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #3) Breathless Reads Fall 2012 Sampler Supporting Students with Special Health Care Needs: Guidelines and Procedures for Schools, Third Edition

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