Series: Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1
Received: Borrowed copy from Christa @Hooked on BooksRelease Date: October 30, 2012
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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—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?
Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of
First I need to express my absolute love for this cover! It's so gorgeous (and I can imagine the shinieness of the mask on the hardcover of this book). The cover really shows off that this book is intriguing (in my opinion). The first couple of chapters of this book does start out a little slow, it opens up with the funeral of Cass' friend Liv. But just keep going because the story gets intense and does it when you are not expecting it at all.
This book has everything in it, a murder mystery, romance and even a masquerade ball (seriously I love books that have a fun party like that included). I also love that it takes place in Venice... I am all about the Italian settings in books, it's so romantic and beautiful. What really perked my interest in this one is that it's a historical book with no magic or anything, this is a book set in real life and those books are becoming few and far between in YA (other than contemporary books). I also love books with mystery to them.
The characters in this book really caught my attention. I loved how Cass is a character that nobody can control, she acts like a teenager, sneaking out and having her own fun despite rules (but she does feel guilty about things at times). Each of the characters were so unique and so much fun, I loved Falco (who was very swoon-worthy) but also Cass' fiancé, it's such a hard choice between these two guys, they were both so awesome!
I loved that everything that happens in this book is so surprising. I could not guess what was happening with the murders, I would flip a page and my guess would continually change, and yet I was still left flabbergasted with what actually happens. This book had me gripping my chair and needing more information on everything. I absolutely love the ending and what Cass decides in the end, even though this is the beginning of a series, I was so happy with her decision. I'm excited to see what will come next for Cass and friends.
I definitely think this book should be at the top of your Penguin Breathless Reads choice! This story epitomizes a breathless read! :)