Title: The Rose and the Mask
Publication Date: March 17th, 2017
Author: Victoria Leybourne
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Summary: Faustina is a beauty and a thief, not necessarily in that order. She doesn’t believe in magic, just luck, and hers has run out. The last thing she needs is to get roped into a ridiculous revenge plot by her brother—especially when that brother is Giacomo Casanova, Venice’s most notorious libertine.
Benedetto Bellini has never been particularly lucky. The fact that he’s under a beastly curse proves that. Now he’s got a second problem, one that’s washed up on his island in its undergarments and attempted to steal his silverware. He finds Faustina intriguing and infuriating in equal measure. And, thanks to the curse, he’s stuck with her.
Faustina doesn’t know what to make of the sweet, shy and deeply irritating man holding her captive. Does he have something sinister in mind, or is he just trying to keep her safe? And why won’t he take off his mask?
Set against the striking backdrop of eighteenth-century Venice, The Rose and the Mask is an affectionate reworking of the timeless tale of Beauty and the Beast.
Ship: Faustina x Benedetto
Fave Cinnamon Rolls: Chiara, Faustina
Needed BROTP: Chiara & Faustina
Actual Review: The Rose and the Mask was a pleasant unexpected discovery today. I got on Goodreads to just check updates and here was someone interested in reading a Beauty and the Beast retelling I hadn’t heard of. And the e-book was just a couple dollars. so I thougt why not. WHat then happened was a very delighful and different retelling of Beauty and the Beast that I ended up reading in a day.
One of the lovely and unique aspects of this retelling is that it is set in Venice and all the names are much more foreign than other stories I’ve encountered. They all seem magical and lyrical that i just think it adds something to it.
Our Beauty is a little more rough around the edges than the typical one we encounter where she’s a thief and proud of it. So when her brother asks her to enact a crazy revenge robbing, she agrees, against her better judgement. DUring this heist, she finds herself drawn to a beautiful rose tree that is impossibly made of glass but full of detail. But of course the warning to not touch it comes after she touches it. And now she finds herself linked to this island and estate due to some curse that means if she leaves she will experience extreme pain and potentially death.
The “Beast” Benedetto is a great character. The book explores mulitple POV so we get insight into his thoughts and how much turmoil he is in over this curse and this new predicament with Faustina, our heroine and resident “Beauty”.
Their relationship is completely full and i just love how their dynamic grows throughout the story. While the cast of characters was rather small, it still had characters that seemed fleshed out even if the only appeared briefly for one or two chapters.
I thought the twist of how the curse came about was unexpected. I had given it some thougth but not enough to peg the correct caster. Though I was pleasantly surprised by the last few chapters with how the curse ended.
Also I totally saw the sequel coming as soon as I met Chiara. Just saying.
Highly recommend this to fans of Fairy-Tale retellings.