Isn't it GORGEOUS???
I loved this book when it first came out, and still do!
Rating: 5 out of 5 couches
Goodreads description: In the second installment of the 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 has his own share of secrets. When he’s arrested by soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass’s life is once again thrown into chaos.
So begins her journey to Florence to prove Luca’s innocence. In the city haunted by whispers of vampirism, secret soirees and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose, Cassandra also finds Falco, who is working for the Order’s eerily stunning leader, the Belladonna herself.
Nothing is as it seems in this seductive mystery, where the truth may be the deadliest poison of all.
Formerly published as Belladonna, Fiona Paul’s romantic series is perfect for fans of Jennifer Donnelly’s These Shallow Graves and Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty.
My review (originally written 12-1-12): Poisonous Touch (formerly Belladonna) is a thrilling follow up to Venomous Kiss (formerly Venom), and starts us a few weeks after Venomous Kiss 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, who has left her to go pursue his art in Florence. After the intense events at the end of book one, Luca is now arrested in the first few pages, and Cass finds a way to make her way to Florence with her best friend Mada and her sweet and loyal maid, Siena, in order to save Luca's life. Along the way, she runs into Falco and is introduced to the enticing and creepily gorgeous Belladonna (and she questions herself as I did if there is something going on between Falco and Belladonna). From there, all chaos breaks loose.
I absolutely loved this book from beginning to end. We are thrust right into the action, and the pace never lets up. We see Cass still as a spoiled young girl, but she has grown up a bit from the first book. We still get the gorgeous landscape of Venice and Florence and the wonderful historical details that Fiona is so good at getting right-- but it fades into the background as we get to know our characters better, get swept up in the plot, and wring our hands to make sure that everything turns out right. We also find out a lot more about The Order of the Eternal Rose, and a lot of the secrets that were still pending from the first book get answered very satisfactorily. I generally don't like to become a Team anything, but I have to say, I have a bigger crush on Luca after this book than I had in the last. What can I say? I have a thing for the "other boring love interest." Although, I'm not sure anyone will say he's boring after reading Belladonna.
All my reservations from the first book have vanished with this new installment. I think some of it is the fact that I'm not a big fan of the necessary development of main characters and world building in general for first books, and also the fact that Fiona Paul is just getting better and better with every book and word she writes. I feel honored to have been able to read this book and can't wait to see how this trilogy ends.
In celebration of the re-release of this wonderful trilogy, I'm giving away the entire trilogy to one lucky winner on Kindle (remember you don't have to have a Kindle to be able to read this-- you can download the app on your phone or your computer)! The last title will be available on May 24!
a Rafflecopter giveaway