Belladonna by Fiona Paul
Series: Secrets of the Eternal Rose #2
Release Date: Jul 16 / 2013
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 soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass’s life is once again thrown into chaos. She must save Luca, and that means finding the Book of the Eternal Rose—the only evidence that will prove he’s innocent.So begins her journey to Florence, a city haunted by whispers of vampirism, secret soirees and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose. And home to Falco, who is working for the Order’s eerily stunning leader, the Belladonna herself.Can Cass trust her heart to lead her to the truth this time?Nothing is as it seems in this seductive thriller, where the truth may be the deadliest poison of all.
- my review of Venom
*this review contains spoilers to Venom*
In Belladonna, Cass is trying to forget about Falco. Because of that, she's growing closer to her fiance, Luca. But within the first few chapters, Luca gets locked up in prison because of heretics against the Church. From there on, Cass goes to Firenze (Florence) to look for the book of the Eternal Rose, the only thing that can prove Luca's innocence.
The Order of the Eternal Rose never made an appearance in Venom, so I was pumped when I knew that they will be in the second book. Belladonna is definitely a much more sinister book than the first. Cass learns of the Order's true purpose and what they're trying to do. It disgusts me, actually. Cass is playing detective again and she is figuring out stuff about the Order and using that to try and save Luca. It felt off to me though. The rescue of Luca and the Order's business wasn't actually tied up so I don't get why Cass needs to go to Firenze to find evidence to save Luca.
In Firenze, Cass bumps into her true love, Falco. (Why am I not surprised by this?) They still can't get over their attraction for each other and Cass is still trying to see whether she likes Falco or Luca. It was a very annoying process. Being a huge fan of Falco in Venom, I think he fell flat in Belladonna. I saw more of his flaws, and he was quick to temper. (Now officially Team Luca, hehe) I would say Falco and Cass needs to talk out their difference and not to judge each other so quickly.
Overall, Belladonna is a nice addition to the series. It gets me pumped up about Starling and want to see how the whole thing would end.