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Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  4,955 Ratings  ·  706 Reviews
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet 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 a murdered woman—pra
Hardcover, 435 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Philomel
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Leticia Porter Well I read it when I was 14 so yeah. It's pretty awesome book

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Katerina Kondrenko
8.5 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)

Josh Groban – All'improvviso amore
Il Divo – Ti amerò
Nino Katamadze & Insight – Once on the street

Genre: historical fantasy, YA, mystery
Stuff: Renaissance Venice, forbidden love, maniac
Fail: some typical YA-moments
WOW: atmosphere
POV: 3rd-person, female
Jan 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of historical fiction with romance
Recommended to Nastassja by: Katerina Kondrenko

Buddy read with Julia with the assistance of Katerina. Girls, our all night discussions were the best time of my life. Julia, your narration of Luca and Falco will stay in my memory forever. I hope you'll quote them for us in the next book too ;) Kat, I am glad you seduced me into reading this book; I am looking forward to our next book-sabbath party!

Actual rating: 3.5

“A blow to the head,
if sufficiently sharp,
can produce an indentation
in the skull. Results may be blindness,
muteness, violent paro

Nov 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
Why do I feel like I've just read the Twilight of young adult historical fiction? I am not kidding, the only thing Fiona Paul manages to do right is adapt every single conceivable cliche from every second rate paranormal romance I've ever been suckered into reading into this thing nominally set in medieval Venice. If you're looking for an independent minded but ultimately hapless heroine, a ridiculous love at first sight love interest, shallow, predictable drama between the two, and a plot that ...more
Monica :)
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
All the way onto October? Really!? *sigh* I guess I'll have to wait . . .

Oh my God. That cover is absolutely gorgeous. Now, I don't know about you but I would buy this book just for the cover itself!

After reading:
*stares at last page*
*closes book slowly*
*throws book across room*
WHAT WAS THAT!? So many questions.
He did ..but she ..and her ..
*has meltdown*

Proper review
To see the review in its full awesomeness ...

"Beauty, love, romance, and
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
Venom invites you to a rich world of mystery and intrigue set in Renaissance Venice. It offers secret rendezvous in graveyards, masked balls and errant lovers mixed with absent fiancés. With a premise like that, I could not help but be interested in the novel. The cover, too, is beautiful and alluring.

So what went wrong?

Many things, I’m afraid. This will take a while so bear with me. I went to this author event recently where Kenneth Oppel presided as the main author in attendance. He spoke abou
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
The premise is a lot more successful than the execution. The blurb drew me in, but I guess I had different expectations for the book. I feel like the actions of the heroine was way too uncharacteristic for someone of her age and class. I did not like the love interest at all, Falco is an arrogant asshole, and I couldn't see what Cass saw in him besides for the initial bad boy attraction. DNF.
Sarah (thegirltheycalljones)
This book could easily be summed up with four words : Venice, mystery, murders and HORMONES!
Is it a bad thing? Hell no! Is it a great thing? Not really. It's average.
There are lots of goods in this book and some bad, which makes it quite uneven and lower the rating to three stars.

The setting was great : Renaissance Venice. Can you do better, really? I don't think so. Maybe it's because I've been to Venice three times in my life and enjoyed every trip, the last one being only two years back, and
Is it possible for a book to be underwhelming and horrifying at the same time?

Like many others, I was seriously anticipating Venom. YA murder mystery set in Venice during the Renaissance? How could that not be awesome?

I guess maybe if the main character is a privileged rich girl with a loving family whose biggest problem is that her life is too boring (and she complains about it. All. The. Time). And if her love interest, Falco, is every girl's fantasy: you know, the kind of guy who dresses her
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I must admit it took me a little while to get into this book. It is told in third person which made it difficult for me to connect with Cass at first. Also the first scene is a funeral so it was sad and slow. But have no fear because soon enough I met Falco and I was hooked! Cass just lost a close friend and at night she likes to walk around the graveyard. Weird, yes, but it is her way to have a little freedom and alone time, plus it's located right behind her house. She visits her friend's cryp ...more
*3.5 stars*

While I did enjoy this book and loved the time and setting, it did drag on and bore me at times. It was also a little predictable, but I did enjoy reading about Cass' story! I feel like I'm already on the love interest team most people don't pick, and I'm intrigued enough by the series and the characters to continue reading on!
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it

“Four Stars: A historical murder mystery that takes you to Renaissance Venice.

Cass stands in the church enduring the never-ending funeral for her deceased friend, Livia. At last the funeral draws to a close and Cass seeks some fresh air. Lost in a fog, she is unaware of her surroundings as she stands on the plaza near the canal. A boisterous young man accidentally shoves against her, knocking Cass to the ground. For a moment, she is lost in the depths of his blue eyes. Quickly he pulls her up an
Sep 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was honestly super excited for this book thanks to the Renaissance Venice setting. I mean, masquerades! Courtesans! Crazy maze like canals and streets and just--Venice was a happenin' place back then and now, let me tell you. But even with a mundane plot, with a mundane, over used romantic trope(I CAN'T TELL YOU BC I NEED TO PROTECT U), love interest--everything--I still would have let it get off with 2.5 stars, even a three. The prose is nice. THe plot, oversimple maybe, but sustainable. The ...more
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Venom is one of those books that stay with you long after you read it. I want to thank Around The World ARC Tours for allowing me to be a part of this tour because it was truly one of the BEST books I have read so far this year. October is going to be the month of EPIC book releases and this is going to be one of them.

Cass lives in Venice with her aunt. Her aunt has secured her a husband and Cass is waiting for him to come home from school to be with her. He is not someone she has picked to be
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Ну вот даже не знаю...
С одной стороны, атмосфера действительно классная.
С другой - незамутненность героини вывихнула мне мозг)))
Впрочем, как и дикое сочетание общего мрака и наива. Не представляю, как автору это удалось.
Леплю 3 звезды: то ли занижаю из-за героини и ее суицидальных наклонностей, то ли завышаю заради шикарной Венеции и мрачных тайн.
О продолжении подумаю, но явно не в ближайшее время. Ибо то, что мне не захотелось накатать многобуквенный отзыв, уже о многом говорит)
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Я поняла, что ничего не поняла. Что это вообще было?
Jul 27, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ak sa chcete naštvať, alebo to neberiete až tak vážne ok. ok. (nerobte to).
Recommended to Alexandra by: Ľudia. Ľuďom sa to páči, som zmätená.
Čo to sľubuje:

- vraždu, ktorá spustí sled akcie, mystéria, udalostí, z ktorých budete lapať po dychu
- vraha neznámeho a pripraveného udrieť kedykoľvek, ktorý je braný aj ako vážna hrozba
- zápletku, z ktorej tuhne krv v žilách
- podmanivosť renesančných Benátok
- napätie až do konca
- aspoň trochu autenticity

Čo dostaneme z vyššie spomenutého?


Nič (ak nerátame absolútne nereálne romance;
hrdinku, ktorej sa začali zapaľovať lýtka a zúfalo jej to nemyslí tak, ako by malo;
arogantného kreténa, ktorý
Annabelle Marie Veronica
*****FINAL RATING: 4.60 STARS*****

I don't read a lot of historical fiction. And usually, when I do, it has magic thrown in at one point or another. As a general rule, historical fiction is not my favorite. Yet somehow, Venom defied all those odds and found its way into my heart. I just…I can't even. This book totally resonated with my and made my heart pound. It was wild and crazy and insane and fun, and I loved every single second of it. It amazed me and it thrilled me. In other words
Mrs. S
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Awww, YA boys. I never fall for the one I'm supposed to. In Venom, Fiona Paul has created a great example of the kind of artsy, edgy "bad boy" that I just know the entire internets will soon be swooning over. Falco is great, and I'm definitely intrigued by him. But you'll be reading all about him in a million reviews soon enough. I want to talk about Luca.

From the minute I learned that our heroine, Cass, was betrothed to a guy she had known in childhood but who she dismissed as "boring", I knew
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, favorites
I have to say wow. This book is bombastic.

It combines everything so perfectly, world building is amazingly designed.

The tension between Cass and Falco is real, and you can feel it and just dive into it.

It's good thing that Cassandra didn't stay the same young girl, that she has some personal and emotional growth. I was very surprised at the end of the book, when she started to think kindly of her aunt.

You can fall in love in Falco very easily. From the beginnig you can feel tension between him a
Melissa Cushing
So I am giving this one 5 stars!!! Loved it!!! It was a great story! I loved Cass and Falco, and even felt for Luca as well, later in the book. :) I will not give a blurb or description of the book because you can get that on Goodreads and/or Amazon. Overall I loved the story and the descriptiveness of the characters, the beautifully described clothes that the ladies wore throughout. It was a period piece, with wonderful descriptions of Venice, the opulence, wealth, and excess of Venice and the ...more
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
An Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes pulled from the ARC may be incorrect and may be subject to change.

Cass is an orphan, engaged to a boy she barely knows, she must marry him for her future. Yet her freedom is within her grasp and she wants out of the restraints. When she meets a new boy named Falco, and their chemistry seems to ignite at their first encounter, she realizes there’s more to the mysterious and attractive boy than he seems.

I was so excited when
May 03, 2012 rated it liked it
If you're inclined to romance books, you'll love this book. I am not one of those people, so I spent the most of the book being annoyed by Cassandra. I was constantly yelling at her in my head: Don't trust him! Don't go into the dark room! Don't go into the dark room with the guy I told you not to trust! I enjoyed the murder mystery aspect, but the high-society girl playing detective has been used far too many times. Also, before every chapter was a quote from "The Book of The Eternal Rose"; whi ...more
Yorumun orijinali Kitap Hayvanı'nın Günlüğü 'nde.

Tamam, itiraf ediyorum; ilk başta bu kitabı fantastik sanmıştım. Bu yüzden kitabın son 100 sayfasına kadar oradan buradan bir hayalet çıksın ya da biri paranormal bir şey yapsın diye bekledim. (Hep senin yüzünden Goodreads!) Neyse ki bu beklentim kitabı gölgelemeye yetmedi. Karanlık Sular, son sayfasına kadar kendini okutmayı başarabildi.

Karanlık Sular, Rönesans döneminde, dünyanın en çekici şehirlerinden Venedik'te geçiyor. Baş karakterimiz Cass
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Check out more of my reviews at ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***!

Wow! I was not expecting that at all! Fiona Paul has outdone herself in Venom. From the gripping intrigues to the danger-ridden canals of Venice, Venom will grab you and yank your stays tight.

Venom opens with an introduction to Cass, our leading protagonist. We're introduced to this high society that Cass lives in, similar to that of a caste system that they did have in the Renaissance era. While Cass had that prim and proper
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was an ARC I picked up, so I will try to keep this review honest while avoiding spoilers as much as possible.

This book disappointed me, which is a shame because I love Italy and the author did a good job of setting up atmosphere. The actual mystery was the only thing keeping me reading because I was tiring of the romance. There were so many "don't do it" moments, and Cass herself keeps telling herself she shouldn't be doing something. Yet she does it anyway. That got to be very frustrating
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Venom for me has been the surprise of the year. I'm not sure what I had expected, but not only was it entertaining, it was a true thriller in every sense of the word. Set in an era where ladies should be just that, expected to maintain the upkeep of their household, and rely on their Lady's Maid to run their errands, but Cass isn't your average girl. Her sense of adventure far outweighs her density, and she is far too accepting of others.

Fiona Paul has cr
Sarah Mac
I must be getting old. Not even the inclusion of courtesans & murder & graveyards & body snatching was enough to inspire emotional involvement -- because goddammit, it's still formulaic young adult fiction with (many) trappings thereof.

Would I have enjoyed it when I was a kid? Possibly. But today, as I sit & plod through the teenage heroine's unending Poor-Little-Me whinge about how her life is so safe & so planned & so boring, followed by the teenage hero's acting lik
Apr 05, 2012 marked it as to-read
OCTOBER??? REALLY? I might die by then of extreme impatience! Seriously, I'm not kidding. I just read the review and I am already banging my head against the desk my computer is on. I have to wait until OCTOBER! I am already waiting for two other books to come out and now this one! Kill me now!
Jan 25, 2016 marked it as to-read

*drops dead*

Jean Valjean (OG 2010)
This looks like SO much fun! I can't wait to get my hands on this little gem.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
YA Fiction Books,...: September BOTM VENOM by Fiona Paul 15 13 Oct 08, 2016 08:54PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose) -Restarting March 15th 2015 13 74 Mar 17, 2015 02:25AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 25, 2015 08:56AM  
Flaco vs Luca: who is better? 9 40 Nov 12, 2014 06:38AM  
Beyond Mr. Darcy:...: October 2013: Venom 3 10 Oct 28, 2013 06:16AM  
What did you think of this book? 4 34 Sep 18, 2013 01:44AM  
If you could pick a different title for "Venom" 5 45 Sep 15, 2013 11:38PM  
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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)
  • Belladonna (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #2)
  • Starling (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #3)

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“How terrible it must be to be a member of the noble class. So many rules. Such restraint. You must feel like a caged bird, battering its wings against the sides of its golden prison.” 56 likes
“You should be more careful, you know."
"Careful?" she managed to croak. "You're the one who knocked me over."
"I couldn't resist," he said, and he actually had the nerve to wink at her. "It's not often I get the chance to put my hands on such a beautiful woman.”
More quotes…