I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
Description: Considered useless by his cold-hearted father, Nico Foscari, eldest son of one of the founding families in Venice, hides his pain behind gambling, drinking and womanizing.
After her husband’s untimely demise, Marietta Gatti returns to her hometown of Venice in hopes of starting a new life and finding the happiness that was missing in her forced marriage.
When Fate throws them together, friendship begins to grow into love until Marietta learns a Foscari family secret that may have cost her father his life. Now, she must choose between vengeance, forgiveness, and love.
Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel takes you back to eighteenth century Carnival, where lovers meet discreetly, and masks make everyone equal.
Review: Venice in the Moonlight is a story that brings to life things I loved when I was a young woman beginning in my romance reading life. A dark hero with a past that makes you wish to change him, a strong heroine willing to risk all to right wrongs, a setting in a land I will never see. But I did not find enough original, except maybe the reason for the thriller sub-plot, which made it stand out to me.
It had the makings of a story that could pull you into the intrigue but I felt it always left me hanging on the edge of what could be really good. Carnival in Venice, a city known to be one of the most romantic in world, with Nico, a hero that made you wish to comfort and bed at the same time. A mystery that needed to be solved, and Marietta the woman willing to do all she could to solve it, including putting herself in situations that were not only daring, but fool hardy. Instead of taking the easy way out of having the hero come to the rescue, the author almost always found a way to pull Marietta out of the situation and leave you saying “that was too close.” It was at those points when I felt the story could elevate and give me all the drama and passion I was hoping for, but it didn’t as those were the points it plateaued at.
The secondary characters were not as original as the main characters, but that is forgivable in this length of a book, you did not need them, but they were decent window dressing. The descriptions of the city, the clothing, the masks and even the food were lovely and decadent at times. Painting a lovely word picture in the mind, it was them that lead me to hope for more from the beginning.
Overall I think this book had tremendous potential that kept me holding on and hoping for it to be reached throughout but at the end I was left with a feeling of, “It was nice, but nothing spectacular.” But boy did it raise my hopes for spectacular. I give this book 3.5 fireballs.