Author: Martin Chu Shui
***A digital copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review***
Beside a bridge over a canal in Venice, Charlie is spellbound not only by Caitlin’s absolute beauty but also by what seems like a mythical bond between them. The more he knows about her, the more mysterious she becomes. As they finally admit their love to each other in Paris, then move to settle down in Australia together, it looks like the start of Happily Ever After. But neither of them realizes that this is just the start of a heart-wrenching journey.
After a lifetime of searching, Caitlin finally finds her true love, settles down in the beautiful rolling countryside of outback Australia, and starts to raise a family, but her enemy is never far away. She loves Charlie deeply and is certain he is her soul mate, but she knows she can never reveal her secret; he must never know who she really is, and that is her downfall. Information in the hands of her enemy brings her life crashing down around her. To save all she has worked for, she must fight for her love and the right to survive.
“Last Kiss in Venice” is a reinterpretation of one of China’s most famous love stories, ‘Legend of the White Snake’. It is a supernatural love epic that encompasses both eastern and western culture to tell a story of love and hate, loyalty and betrayal, revenge and justice. This cocktail of oriental magic, vampires, and sword fights is a legend not easily forgotten.
Last Kiss in Venice is author Martin Chu Shui's debut paranormal love story. When the author first asked me about reviewing Last Kiss in Venice, I was immediately intrigued by the synopsis. The instant connection between Charlie and Caitlin (Hey, look! It's my name :D) roped my inner romantic in, while the promise of vampires and magic further enhanced my need to read this book. Last Kiss in Venice was the perfect quick, paranormal read- I enjoyed every minute of it.
The book's plot starts off with the relationship between Charlie and Caitlin. Following the 'Legend of the White Snake', Caitlin has spent thousands of years waiting to find her true love- the one that saved her in her past life. While in Venice with her "sister" Alice, Caitlin and Charlie finally find one another, and immediately fall in love. Now, usually I would be upset with the insta-love thing....but as the book progressed, I realized how it wasn't their journey to one another that mattered, but how the love the two of them shared changed both of them. Their love fueled them to make sacrifices for one another that was necessary for the plot of the story.
The dynamic between Caitlin and her friend Alice was the most enjoyable part of the book. Even though they aren't really sisters, they treat each other as if they are- I felt this relationship was more real than even Charlie and Caitlin's. Alice was my favourite character by far because of her bad ass attitude and her absolute commitment to protecting Caitlin. For the most part, I really loved Caitlin's character as well. Her bravery and determination to save those she loved was admirable. The only thing that kind of ticked me off about this character was how love truly made Caitlin blind. There's a certain point in the book where I felt Caitlin was a bit selfish- wanting nothing more than to be with Charlie, even if it meant putting her unborn child in danger.
The most interesting part of reading this book was learning more about the 'Legend of the White Snake'. Martin reinterpreted the legend in an adaptation that was refreshing and more appealing to today's audience. The entire plot of the story also added a dose of mystery and suspense that kept me tapping my Kindle screen so I could get to the next page :)
"I don't regret it at all. I have tasted real love with Charlie and it was nothing like I had ever imagined. For just a moment experiencing the joy of true love, I would die happily."
"Their lips met, and all of Paris, all people and noises, and even the Eiffel Tower itself disappeared. The only thing Charlie was aware of was Caitlin's soft, warm lips.
The entire universe only had two of them left.
Time had stopped."
Overall Last Kiss in Venice was a fast, light, and enjoyable read for any bookworm out there that wants to be engulfed in this wonderful adaptation Martin Chu Shui has created. It was a book I normally wouldn't have picked up, but I'm glad I gave it a chance! Have you read Last Kiss in Venice? What did you think of the relationships between all the characters? Be sure to let me know in the comments! Keep Reading!
Your Y.A. Bookworm,