Book Review: Glass and Roses by Victoria Leybourne

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Fairytale retellings are always so much fun to read, and I think these two did a great job of repurposing two classics in a realistic, exciting setting - Venice! The first book, The Rose and the Mask, focuses on Beauty and the Beast, and the second, The Murano Glass Slipper, is Cinderella with a twist. Both stories were unique and engaging, and while I did prefer the first over the second, I feel like both are go-to reads for those of you who love fairy tales. And honestly, who doesn't? In The Rose and the Mask, Faustina Casanova is a thief who is persuaded by her brother to assist him in recovering money he claims was stolen from him in a card game. He tricks her into being an unexpected guest in the island home of their mark, Benedetto Bellini, and she is none too pleased. But she has gotten herself into a predicament, cursed alongside the masked man who shelters her, and while she still wants out of his home, she finds herself falling more in love with him each day. In The Murano Glass Slipper, both Chiara Idoni and Domenico Vitello are forced to trick each other to gain something important to them. For Chiari, it is the opportunity to save her family from eviction. For Domenico, it is the chance to see his mother one last time before she dies. In disguise, they meet in a ballroom, and they quickly fall for each other. But what they don't know is that they have met before, and their meeting again is no coincidence. What is fun about these two books is that they are tied together, so you don't have to let go of the characters from the first book when you start the second. And you really shouldn't read the second without having read the first book, because you get backstory on the characters that makes the story more entertaining. The first focused on my favorite fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, so that always holds a special place in my heart. It was structured really well, had a lot of unpredictable elements to it, and the ending was perfect. Faustina and Benedetto were so cute together, and I was rooting for them. The second book was not as enjoyable to me, and I think because it was a lot more complicated. There were several POVs that hung on for too long, and I had a difficult time keeping up with the storyline. However, once I focused on Chiara and Domenico, I found myself enjoying it more and just skipping some of the other POV sections. Domenico was so immature compared to Chiara, which I found refreshing. I usually read books where the heroine has more growing up to do, but in this case, Domenico was a lost soul. Chiara had to take care of her family, so she was forced to grow up quickly. Their relationship was very therapeutic for both of them, because Chiara needed someone to encourage her to let loose, and Domenico needed someone to help ground him. I am intrigued by these two books and hope there are more fairy tale retellings to come! The author spins a clever retelling that can be enjoyed by all ages. **I received a free copy from the author and this is my honest review.**

#fantasy #bookreview #historical