Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Book Review: Belladonna by Fiona Paul - AUSTRALIAN BLOG TOUR

Today I have the pleasure of participating in the Australian Belladonna blog tour. I am extremely excited and below is my review of Belladonna. There will also be an interview posted today and a giveaway for 2 paperback Australian editions of Belladonna.

Title: Belladonna
Series: Secrets of the Eternal Rose #2
Author: Fiona Paul
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Release Date: 1st July 2013
Genre: Young Adult Historical
Format: Paperback
Source: HarperCollins Australia for an honest review during the tour. Thank you so much!

Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancĂ©, 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 is innocent.

So begins her journey to Florence, a city haunted by whispers of corruption, secret soirees, and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose. And home to Falco, who′s 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

Phew, what a read, another fantastic instalment of the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series. This secret society seems to be getting even more intriguing and mysterious with each book and I cannot wait for Starling. I loved Venom and loved Belladonna even more. Ms Paul’s writing style is fantastic, so well written and detailed that I could smell and feel the horrible water in the prison; feel the slimy things writhing in the water. Oh boy and the romance, ooohhhh!

After the stress of the murdered girls and Luca turning up and saving the day, Cassandra (or better known as Cass) was coming around to the fact that she is inevitably going to marry Luca and Falco has gone.

After awaking from another nightmare, Cass is disturbed to hear noises out her door and finds Luca has been arrested with no reason why. Cass and her Aunt are overwhelmed and extremely upset by this and can’t understand why Luca would be arrested. Now Cass is determined to find out the truth and help Luca to be released.

There is gossip all over Venice about Luca and Cass has heard that he was arrested on heresy against the Church; he is sentenced for execution in one month. Cass speaks with Luca and they are adamant they know who is behind his arrest. Cass has to find the book of The Order of the Eternal Rose to help free Luca and show evidence against Dubois.

Cass is off to Florence with her best friend, Mada. Cass believes the book is located here and will hopefully be able to find it on her trip. Cass ventures to the market and views executions of young women believed to be vampires. So unexpectedly she finds Falco. How is Falco in Florence? Is it fate that they ended up in the same place? Falco is working for very wealthy woman, her name is Belladonna and she is leader of The Order of the Eternal Rose. Belladonna came back from the dead and is still as beautiful as the day she apparently died. Curious about her story, Cass and Mada receive an invitation for tea.

Cass and Mada are invited to attend a party now at Belladonna’s Villa and Cass goes for a walk outside. This is a wrong choice considering it is night and she is attacked by wild dogs. Cass awakes in a room and is being attended to by Piero, Belladonna’s personal doctor. For some reason, Cass is always sleepy and is having horrible dreams that she is being bitten by a vampire. Is there something funny going on?

Can Cass work out where the book is to save Luca? Who is Belladonna really and why is she so young and beautiful? Can Cass forget Falco and concentrate on Luca, her fiancé? What is this secret society working toward and who are they? Will Luca be saved from being executed?

There are so many elements to this series and I am in awe of Fiona Paul. Her talent for writing with such detail and such a complicated story line are inspiring, but it is all easy to follow and addictive, the pages just keep turning. With mystery, lovely romance and with Cass being a little like Nancy Drew, what more could you ask for. The characters develop and mature with each page and I can see Cass grow into a young woman to make the hard decisions she needs to in order to survive. I cannot wait to read Starling to see what happens next. I highly recommend this series to all young adult readers.


About the Author

Fiona Paul is a writer and registered nurse from St. Louis, MO.

(I prefer the short and sweet bio since there's a lot of other stuff to read in these posts that's more relevant than my love of coffee or desire to shark dive).

Book #1 in Secrets of the Eternal Rose series:

You can read my review from last year HERE.


I would like to thank so very much Amanda from Harper Collins Australia for allowing me to giveaway two (2) Australian edition copies of Belladonna and it is open internationally. How cool is that??

Ends midnight 7th July 2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other participants of this fantastic tour are:



  1. This series has the best covers!

    Thank-you kindly for the opportunity to win :-)

    Sharon @ www.obsessionwithbooks.blogspot.com

  2. I adore these covers! I think I have Venom on my Kindle, but haven't gotten to it yet. Not sure, but I'll definitely have to check. You make this series sound great!

  3. Such a great review Katie! I must pick up this series soon!! Great giveaway!! These novels really do have the most amazing covers!!!