Last Kiss In Venice (Legend of the White Snake #1) by Martin Chu Shui

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

A very romantic story! I have never heard of the Legend of the White Snake and I had to do a little research online to read more about it. This story got me that interested (I have included a short paragraph below from wikipedia of the Legend)

I don't read a lot of romance stories, but paranormal romance is something I am always up for. The summary had me thinking, shape-shifters and the idea of eternal life. I was surprised by how much more this story had to it.

When going into the story, it really seemed like it would heavier on the romance than any paranormal aspects, but once it gets going, I did not want to put the book down. There is a certain something about Cait that I admired. She represents a very non-judgmental and helping compassion to mankind that it gave me a feeling of, well admiration of her. I think that as she is the foundation of the story, her character is the most important to get right in doing a retelling. I would love to read more renditions of this story, it's pretty engrossing.

Cait is a very motherly character. When people fall sick and she thinks that she can help. She gives absolutely not second thought to not try to help. No matter the consequences. She is ready to go head first into battles (and there is an amazing one at the end of this story)

I think that when a character is surrounded by people that support and would die for them, it shows a lot about them. Charlie and Alice have complete devotion to Cait even when they don't agree with her actions, they always support her, and fight with her.

There were so many levels to the story. It did take me a while to get into the story, get wrapped up into the world. It really is a "This cocktail of oriental magic, vampires, and sword fights" It was a lot of fun to read, with a lot of adventure and something I wanted to pick up and read again as soon as I finished it.

Taken from Wikipedia: a small description of the Chinese Legend of the White Snake Basic story "At its most basic, the story tells of a young scholar who falls in love with a beautiful woman, unaware that she is a thousand-year-old white snake that has taken on human form. A monk intervenes in order to maintain a law that forbids humans and spirits from falling in love with each other, and casts the white snake into a deep well at Leifeng Pagoda. Over centuries the story has evolved from a horror tale to a romance story, which tells that the scholar and the snake woman are genuinely in love with each other, but their relationship is forbidden by nature's law. There are also other variations of the story, such as the white snake having met the scholar before and the story continues in their next lives, or the white snake's offspring being a reincarnation of the deity Wenchang Wang. An additional character is a hundred-year-old green snake (or in some cases a carp also referred to as blue snake or brown snake due to earth or water powers) that has also transformed into a woman, and serves as the white snake-woman's close friend and confidante".

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