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(Secrets of the Eternal Rose #2)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,412 ratings  ·  206 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, 346 pages
Published July 16th 2013 by Philomel
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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Khanh, first of her name, mother of 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
Katerina  Kondrenko
9 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog Living A Thousand Lives (please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Laura Pausini – Il Mio Beneficio
Anna Tatangelo – Qualcosa Di Te
Il Divo – Come Primavera

Genre: historical fantasy, mystery, YA
Stuff: the Renaissance Italy, secret society
WOW: mix of mystery and romance
POV: 3rd person, female
Setting: Venice and Florence
Love-Geometry: m
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Venom, Historical Fiction and Feels
**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

Continue buddy-read session with my supergirls Julia and Katerina. Girls, your superpowers are the best! Can't wait to start next book with you!

Actual rating: 3.5

“The truth is often different from what is perceived as truth, but only the latter is of any consequence.”

Mystery, danger, love, duty are back with some reinforcement in the second installment of Secrets of the Eternal Rose series. The playground is changed: this time we'll explore Florence's dark alleys an

Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-request
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
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Belladonna by Fiona Paul
Book Two of the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series
Publisher: Philomel
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by Paper Lit Lantern

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.
*****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 wo
Sarah (thegirltheycalljones)
2,5 stars, no time for a review... Let's say I enjoyed the mystery and whatever scenes happened at Belladona's but the rest not so much (and I still loathe this love triangle). ...more
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: out-in-2013

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
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
Jan 30, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
usagi ☆ミ
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
Oct 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
Why would I read the second book in a series when I rated the first book one star?
Because I was at the gym and bored on the treadmill. It was loaded on my phone and anything was better than listening to my gasps for air. Or so I thought.

The continuation of the story of Cass. Because Cass is the most important, beautiful, smart, and desirable person in the universe and we should all care about her because we should. Her fiance Luca is arrested on trumped up charges and the only solution that Cas
May 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series is undeniably entertaining. There's something about the mystery and the setting that keeps me reading. I really enjoyed this book, and getting to learn more about the world. The setting is very atmospheric, however I sometimes felt jarred by a description that felt untrue to the time period. I had a few issues with this book, but nothing that detracted too much from my enjoyment of the story. Cass's poor decision making skills are starting to get on my nerves. I understand that in or ...more
Chelsea B.
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Finally! I read the sequel!
*cheers for self*

So I didn't enjoy Belladonna quite as much as I enjoyed Venom... it didn't read as engrossing or mysterious. But it was a pretty good middle book. I'm looking forward to seeing how it all wraps up.

Few things...

Cass: She continued to be wishy washy, unfortunately. But honestly...

Falco: did Falco! One second he's like "Oh my starling, how I've missed you." and the next he's like "Girl you crazy I gtg." THESE TWO. GRRRR...

Love triangle: Definite lo
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

I enjoyed reading Venom years ago, but for some reason, it took me seven years to get to this book. I did end up liking this book, but it had a hard time keeping my interest. In Belladonna, Cass is still living with her aunt and Cass’ fiancé, Luca. Falco has since left Venice. When Luca is arrested for hearsay, Cass is convinced that someone is trying to make Luca disappear. Especially since he was arrested shortly after co
Hannah (The Curiouser & Curiouser)
First off.


What the hell is that name? I had to swallow down a little immature giggle every time I read his name. But seriously . . . Falco? Of all the names in the book . . . Falco.

Part of the reason I’m having such an issue with his name is due to me having previously known a kid named Falcon. I kid you not. That was his full name. Falcon. I’ll wait as you laugh . . .

I do not remember Falcon, because according to my family, I knew him when I was in elementary school. And, now, I wasn’t th
After reading Venom couple of years ago I was hesitant about picking up the sequel. I expected darker maybe even horror-esque story with a touch of romance. Instead, I got a love triangle and as a bonus one indecisive and whiny heroine who got on my nerve pretty much throughout the whole book.
So imagine my surprise when I finally decided to pick up Belladonna and discovered a whole a new story! I finally got what I wanted – action, secret societies, tension... and I just couldn't stop readin
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

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
Allison Grace
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it

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 o
There are 346 pages in this book. You would think for a decently sized book that something would happen. That there would be some sort of plot to keep readers guessing. You would be right...if you meant that only about 50 or so pages had interesting content. Yep, that's right. Only 50 pages of actual plot and intrigue. The 296 other pages held absolutely nothing. Well, nothing but Cass's whining about Falco vs. Luca, Cass's whining about The Order of the Eternal Rose, and Cass screaming at the d ...more
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Elaine Ruth Boe
I have mixed feelings about this book. I'm always a sucker for a historical setting, so I enjoyed the details about Venice and Florence. Chopines, canals, and the church are all very romantic. I assume Paul did some research about medical knowledge at the time and the church's crusade against vampires. I found those passages fascinating for the insight it gave to the historical mood.

I am ambivalent about Cass's character. Her struggle with the church is a very mature topic. In her time, the chu
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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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! :)


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)

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