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The Mystical and the Magical

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Venom - Fiona Paul 2 stars. Giving Venom a two star rating is actually pretty merciful on my part. It was very tempting - and trust me, veeeerrry tempting - to give this book a one. It just didn't appeal to me.

Let's start off with things we notice right off the bat: the sultry cover.

Okay, so I'm a girl, and I'm straight, and I have little to no interest in sexual affairs liesss, but this cover is just gorgeous. That mask? Yum. That face? Yum. That lip biting? YUMMMM. I, like many others, mainly picked up this book because of the cover. And yet another reason why the gorgeous covers fails at its high promises.

The next thing. I open the book jacket, glance at the summary: Venice, Italy, 1559-1789.

Well! Yay! Historical mystery romance? Sounds enchanting. And in Italy? Oh, lala. SOMEONE KILL ME.

Now, as I read through the book, there were some particular scenes between our main love interest Falco, and our MC, Cassandra that made me doubt the credibility of the era. First of all, I'm not a history major. I know barely anything about the world, okay? But I know enough. I know a few of the strict rules that were in the Victorian era in London, and that was in the 18th/19th century. According to the book, the setting of this novel takes place in the 16th, 17th century! And in Venice, no less! If the etiquette of women were so strict back in the Victorian era, I sure as hell know that things were even more stricter in Venice Italy back then.

So do I find this reliable? No. Not at all.

Next: our grand entrance of ... Falco.

First of all, blargh. Just ... seriously. I really, really, really don't like Falco. And I like all these sexy, dark, mysterious characters! But Falco, no? He was a dick, a douche, an idiot ... And so was Cassandra for "falling in love with him." Shall I describe you how she meets him the second time? I shall.

The night is dark out. Cassandra misses her deceased friend terribly. Conviently, she lives beside a graveyard and decides to pay her friend, Liviana, a visit. [WHAT. THE. HELL.] She guides a lantern. When the gate creaks open, she is certain someone is watching her and hears the snap of a branch. But she doesn't run away - no, she's trying to prove to some godly being that she isn't afraid. So she walks over to her friend's grave and - what? What is that? GASP. Her friend's body has been replaced with a mutilated girl's! Oh the horror! She starts to run away, but trips - BUT OH! WAIT! The wonderful egoistic, playboyish Prince Charming Falco catches her from her fall! And the FIRST THOUGHT THAT COMES TO HER HEAD IS HIS DAZZLING BLUE EYES.

It couldn't have been, "Oh, I'm alone with a man in a graveyard, this is improper, I have a dead body behind me, this man might be a murderer"? It couldn't have? Ms. Paul, you couldn't have done this for me? YOU COULDN'T HAVE?



You just--you guys don't know how much this bothered me for the rest of the book. The storyline was kind of hesitant and sort of ... awkward, I guess? Again, I clarify, I thought Falco was a douchebag and didn't like him one bit. There wasn't even much of a suspense build-up, so you kind of didn't know what to expect - but it wasn't that good kind of "expecting," but the one where you go like "uhh-what's-supposed-to-happen-now" kind of thing.

Okay, one last thing before I go: Cassandra has a high place in society, with maids, gorgeous dresses, and a wonderful fiance. But she's too busy complaining about what she doesn't have and how she wants to have a future with Falco to care about much else.

If you think you might like a book a like this, then sure! Give it a try!

And I know I'm not supposed to do this, but please, for the love of God, make Cassandra end up with Luca. She might learn some manners and gratitude that way.