Ridley's Reviews > Venice

Venice by Lynne Connolly
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May 28, 10

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bookshelves: 3-star, mystery-historical, read-2010, ebook
Read from May 26 to 28, 2010

A rather underwhelming romantic suspense set in the Georgian era, Venice takes Richard and Rose to Italy as they outrun an assassin, encounter their doppelgangers and have lots of boring sex.

Picking up where the last book left off, Venice opens with their wedding day. However, just as they're about to sneak away and start their honeymoon, a shooter takes aim and grazes Rose with a bullet. Richard then hatches a plan to ixnay the yacht trip and travel overland, icognito and separate from each other, to his apartment in Venice. Along the way, Rose befriends a fancy couple who claim to be Lord and Lady Strang traveling undercover as Mr. and Mrs. Ravens.

The plot is sort of a mess. You've got an assassin, people impersonating Richard and Rose and a honeymoon all going on at once. While there was certainly a mystery, there wasn't much suspense, as the mystery was really what the hell is going on in this book? I spent much of the book wondering where the book was taking me and what I was supposed to feel.

The three elements weren't woven together well. The sex was rather matter-of-fact and made me feel like a voyeur. They're well and married and smitten with each other, so the lack of tension or conflict just left the icky feeling of watching a couple I knew get it on. For the record: not my kink. The impostors, I felt, were always held separate from the assassin plot. I didn't see what one had to do with the other as she seemed quite clear that the impostors weren't suspects. If they weren't suspects in the assassin plot, why were we spending so much time with them? It all comes together in the end, but by then it was too late.

The book did have its bright moments, however. The following snippet was almost worth the read alone:
I turned the other gun in my hand, as I had seen Richard do once, and swung the butt against the side of her head.

She fell sideways, out cold...I took a deep breath, crossed to where the decanters sat on the sideboard, poured myself a large brandy and drank it down without a choke. Richard watched me appreciatively. Nobody else moved.

I looked down at the man on the floor. "He's bleeding. He'll ruin that carpet."
I have a weakness for capable heroines. I admit it.

Connolly has a wonderful voice for historical romance and a gift for narrative. If she could just tighten up her plotting, her books would grow from ok to great.
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