Cross My Heart

Cross My Heart

by Sasha Gould

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385741507
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 03/13/2012
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: HL700L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

SASHA GOULD lived in Venice until she was nine years old. She later studied fashion in London. Her favorite things are opera, ballet, and romantic movies. She now lives in the Lake District of England with her cat, Tosca, and writes about Venice, the beautiful and mysterious city she knows and loves.

Read an Excerpt

1

None of us is known by our real name in here. Almost as soon as you arrive, you're christened all over again: La Grossa, La Cadavara, La Lunatica, La Trista, La Puera, La Pungenta—Fat, Deathly, Mad, Sad, Fearful and Stinky. Inside the walls of the convent, sneering adjectives are transformed, sooner or later, into names.

They call me La Muta—The Silent One. It isn't that I don't have plenty to say, it's just that most of the time I keep things to myself. Daughters learn this early. Second daughters sooner.

The Abbess used to tell me that she could see something feral in my soul—that there was something of the animal about me. A dog, perhaps, or maybe a rat. The creatures that slip into the convent at night in search of chicken bones and rotting food. It's something that she's determined to stamp out.

My life, which once belonged to my father, now belongs to her. I am awake before two for prayers and then again at five, to go and sing perfect harmonies as the Venetian sun rises behind the grilles and the bars, dancing on the marble and gold in the chapel.

The Abbess controls all the correspondence coming in and going out. Sometimes she withholds the letters from my sister Beatrice and I can't read them. Tell me your news, I beg Beatrice in writing. When will you marry Vincenzo? Does he make you happy? None of my questions can be asked without undergoing the prudish scrutiny of the Abbess. To a suspicious mind, alert to all possible evils, any of my words could somehow appear saturated with sin.

"I see everything," the Abbess tells me. "I know what is in your mind."

I used to believe her. I used to think that perhaps she really did have the power to see my secret longings leaking like olive oil from the press. Certainly, I've seen her holding our letters out in front of her by the corners as if there's a danger they'll smear her cowl or habit. As if they're greasy, grubby things.

Some of Beatrice's letters reach me. I hide them under a wooden floorboard with my own ring and with a silk-ribboned lock of her hair. Late at night, when Annalena is snoring and shifting under her sheets, I take my sister's folded ink-filled paper treasures and I read them again and again. Each of her letters carries something from the outside world, smuggling it inside these walls that separate us. Through nothing but an accident of birth, she remains free, while I languish.

Annalena is my conversa, my lay sister, my servant nun, and she teases me for smiling in my sleep. She says my eyelids flutter and she wonders what worlds I'm traveling to in the dark.

In my dreams I'm a child again. Beatrice and I are running down to the Lido for treats from Paulina's grandmother. Paulina—my friend without a father. It always saddened me that her papa had died when he was young, but now I wonder whether she might actually have been blessed, living as she did, alone with her mother. Her grandmama shrouded her body in black clothes, and the skin on her face was hard and grooved like a walnut.

"The little princesses," she would call us. And she would lisp, "Shhh!" and say "Don't tell your papa you were here." And as she looked at our faces she would gasp, "Oh, what husbands you'll have! What riches! How many men will long to touch your skin and to comb your hair with their fingers!"

She had a bakery, and in the summer, when she couldn't bear the heat of the ovens, she would let them cool down and make nothing but meringues. She was famous for them. The recipe was known only to her, given to her by her own mother and her mother's mother before her. Sospiri di monaca. That's what they were called. "The sighs of nuns." Many recipes share this poignant name, but none have ever tasted like the meringues of Paulina's grandmother.

On my seventh birthday, Paulina had taken me by the hand and we had run sweating and serious to her grandmother's bakery, where we both stood silently, looking at the wizened woman. "Grandmama," she had said eventually. "Laura's seven years old today."

"E vero?"

"Yes, it's true."

With fingers bent and twisted and brown, like twigs on an old tree, she put seven "sighs" in a little basket and handed it to me. I took a meringue and I bit into it. Brittle at first, and then soft, slowly giving up its flavors of golden sugar from the East, roasted hazelnuts from the South and the zest of Tuscan lemons. I closed my eyes. The sigh that came out of my mouth was hot on my hand.

"Oh, sweetheart!" The old woman grinned. "May all the pleasures in your life be so rapturous and so easy to make."

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Cross My Heart 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Beamis12 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Can't begin to tell you how refreshing it was to read a young adult novel that was not a graphic novel nor did it contain a werewolf, fairy or vampire. It was instead a very entertaining historical mystery with some romance thrown in and a mysterious society of women called The Segreta. Loved the descriptions of Venice, the clothing, the gondoliers and the canal. A family feud, a sisters death that needed to be solved all added to the enjoyment of this very atmospheric read. ARC provided by NetGalley.
theepicrat on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The cover for Cross My Heart may not look all that snazzy, and I understand if you choose to pass it by for a more colorful selection with a lusty boy or artsy pizazz. Pardon me as I grab your elbows, dear Readers, and pull you back because YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK! Behind this demure cover is a rich and luscious story that will seduce you like a tall, dark Italian lover and make you revel in the darkness.THE GOOD BITS{Twisty mystery.} Mio Dio, I thought France was the city of love, but clearly I forgot how passionate Italy can be! After all, it is the home of Romeo and Juliet ¿ and Cross My Heart definitely contains all the familiar signs of heartaches, heartbreaks, betrayals, and vendettas. No one can be trusted with a secret, and it was nail-biting to watch Laura try to figure out friend from foe.{Laura + Giacomo!} Can there be another delightful pairing that makes my heart swoon? I haven¿t felt this smitten since Anna and Etienne ¿ and from the very second that Laura stumbles upon Giacomo, it was instant love at first sight for this reader. Oh, I am a fool for the artistic of male specimen ¿ and Giacomo was absolute perfection.{Secret societies.} I love all this cloak-and-dagger nonsense like nobody¿s business ¿ and a secret society run by women even more so! While I prefer women use their powers for good, I can understand how the Segreta had to be more cutthroat in an Italy that thrive on vengeance. Men may want to believe that all the power rests in their hands, but I love watching women exercise some of their own ingenuity to nudge the world in a different direction.THE BAD BITS{Left some storylines unfinished.} Certain plot points never went anywhere. Laura gives up a secret that could definitely destroy the Doge of Venice, but the Segreta does not do anything with it. One of Laura¿s childhood friend has made a love match with the Doge¿s son, but panicks when a new Segreta recruit reveals that affects his stature as heir. However, this issue does not get mentioned again. I only hope that these unfinished bits and pieces means that there may be a follow-up, although I am half-afraid that it will not bode well for Laura and Giacomo.THE OVERALLIf Cross My Heart gets a sequel, it may want to get a bouncer because someone will need to reign in my excitement as I try to push myself to the front of the line. I usually don¿t get this excited for a historical novel, but Sasha Gould has created such a vivid and provocative Italy that brings to mind all the greatness of Romeo & Juliet.
bkwormblogger on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Synopsis:Venice, 1585.When 16-year-old Laura della Scala learns that her older sister, Beatrice, has drowned, she is given no time to grieve. Instead, Laura's father removes her from the convent where he forcibly sent her years earlier and orders her to marry Beatrice's fiancé, a repulsive old merchant named Vincenzo.Panicked, Laura betrays a powerful man to earn her way into the Segreta, a shadowy society of women who deal in only one currency¿secrets. The Segreta seems like the answer to Laura's prayers. The day after she joins their ranks, Vincenzo is publicly humiliated and conveniently exiled. Soon, however, Laura begins to suspect that her sister's death was not a tragic accident but a cold-blooded murder¿one that might involve the Segreta and the women she has come to trustReview:This book is a wonderfully beautiful read that tells the story of 16th century Venice and all the mystery, intrigue and suspense that comes with it. I've always wanted to go to Venice so for me the descriptions of the canals, the Palazzos and of course dresses and jewels were a delightful insight.Laura is headstrong and from the beginning we understand that she's not entirely happy with her life in the convent. So when she's released she really comes into her own. Her character grows stronger and stronger as the book continues. I loved the idea of a Secret Society for women however I would have liked to learn a little more about them. The concept of a Society brings ideas of initiations and gossip but we neither see much nor hear more about them except for the two head ladies.The romance was a surprise. More of a traditional kind than heart pounding but it was sweet nonetheless.As for the mystery and suspense, well, I couldn't put the book down. It gripped me right from the word, Go! with the families all mixed and intertwined with one another - except for the feud families which the story is based around.The antagonist - well, I didn't see it coming. But I understood exactly how and why. This is a clever story that will have you guessing, and enjoying every minute of it.The reason I haven't given this 5 stars is because I would have liked it to be longer (however it is being published by Puffin) and I didn't like the cover but I see another version is available now too.All in all - a great read!
AmieG on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Cross My Heart is set against the backdrop of beautiful Venice, Italy. But that beauty is not always what it seems. Mystery, intrigue and even murder abound in a city with more secrets than one can imagine. Those secrets are collected by the Segrata, a group of society women that may be more powerful than the men who run their city. Somehow, Laura della Scala has found herself entwined with these women and she is unsure if that is a good thing¿or the worst mistake of her young life.I must admit, I am a sucker for historical fiction. The beauty and pageantry of the 1500s to the 1700s fascinates me. The fact that this book is set in 1585 was an immediate draw for me. Another draw: it is set in the one country in the world I am dying to visit¿Italy. So, Cross My Heart had a lot of expectations to live up to right off the bat. Luckily, it did not disappoint. It gives the reader a strong plot and great characters. It has a good, strong plot¿after spending six years in a convent, Laura is suddenly summoned home after the death of her sister. Sadly, the death of her sister is not the only difficulty Laura must overcome. Cross My Heart also has some wonderful characters, ones I came to really like and care about. Laura is a wonderful heroine, searching for who she really is and finding her way in a world that is completely foreign to her. Despite the time period the book is set in, Laura is a strong female character with a mind of her own. And my new book crush has to be Giacomo. Granted, I do tend to melt when it comes to those Italian boys (after all, I married one), but Giacomo stole my heart. He is so sweet and sensitive, I just adored him. Perhaps the best part of this story was the mystery of Beatrice¿s death and the Segrata. I cannot really say too much about it as I could give away integral parts of the story, but suffice to say that this book will keep you guessing. I swear every time I thought I had it all figured out, I turned out to be completely wrong. And I mean completely wrong. That is part of what makes this book so good. I don¿t want to read a book that I figure out early on, I want it to keep me guessing right up until the end. Cross My Heart did just that.Finally, I absolutely loved the fact that Cross My Heart is a stand-alone book. It is not ¿Book 1¿ or ¿Part 1.¿ I actually liked that, because I am getting a little weary reading books that leave me hanging. Being able to sit down and read a book from beginning to end and not have to wait another year for any kind of resolution was wonderful! That is not to say that I wouldn¿t enjoy reading more from Ms. Gould or reading more about Laura della Scala or the Segrata, I just enjoyed reading a book that had an actual end.All in all, Cross My Heart is a great read. It is filled with mystery, intrigue and beauty. I really enjoyed it and I will be recommending to my librarian and teacher friends, as well as my daughters.
ahandfulofconfetti on LibraryThing 10 months ago
3.5/5 stars, but rounding up because it really was a nice, suspenseful, well-written story.Thank you to Random House Children's Books and Delacorte BFYR (via NetGalley) for the e-galley of Cross My Heart.Laura della Scala was sent to a convent when she was ten years old, when her father decided he couldn't raise both her and her sister after their mother's death. Several years later, she's been recalled to her father's house, where she finds out that her sister, Beatrice, has died, and it's now fallen to Laura to marry Beatrice's fiance, Vincenzo, in order to save their father from ruin. Vincenzo, however, is a disgusting old man, and Laura despairs over the turn her life has taken. She is therefore surprised when a group of women known as the Segreta approach her and tell her they can save her from Vincenzo, if she can provide them with a worthwhile secret. And thus, Laura is launched into a new life where no one can be trusted, and she must learn to find her strength and stand up for herself if she's to have the life she wants.I really enjoyed this book. I felt like Laura was a sympathetic character who goes from being thrust from one situation to another as she tries to adjust to her new life outside of the convent (with no help from anyone) to a heroine with a definite backbone who stands up to her father and tries to figure out the truth behind her sister's death. She doesn't know who to trust, because while she realizes how powerful the Segreta are - they do manage to get her away from Vincenzo, after all - she starts to suspect that they may have played a role in her sister's death. There's also a handsome painter who ensnares Laura and has his own secrets, and her sister's best friend who is perhaps hiding some things as well. I really liked Laura's journey in this story; I was really pulling for her happily-ever-after. The atmospheric prose was also first-rate, especially that describing Laura's night-time wanderings and gondola rides. All in all, this was a really engrossing, engaging read that I enjoyed from beginning to end.
Abibliophobic1 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I have come to realize over the years, especially after starting this blog, I tend to judge a book by its cover. Well, that might not necessarily be true, but a unique cover will definitely draw me into a book faster. So, after requesting this book because of its awesome cover, I found that I enjoyed what was inside almost as much as the cover.After spending the past six years of her life living in a convent in her beloved city of Venice, 16-year-old Laura, is suddenly released back into her father¿s care without any word or explanation. After returning home, she comes to realized the reason for her sudden return: her sister has been found dead in the canals outside her family¿s villa. Laura¿s father, a once rich and powerful man, now begins on a search for suitors to marry Laura to bring back his power and wealth. When Laura is betrothed to a wizened old man who already has grandchildren, Laura thinks her options have run out. That is until she discovers the Segreta. This powerful and secret society of Venetian women promise to help her out of her horrible situation and all they want in return is a secret. After revealing her secret and betraying the most powerful man in the city, Laura soon finds that the Venice she knew as a young girl was a fantasy. The streets and canals she knows as home are full of power struggles, political intrigue, and secrets¿I really did enjoy Gould¿s story. The back drop of old Venice really set this book apart from other historical romance novels I¿ve read in the recent past. After just finishing GraveMercy by R.L. LaFevers, I liked this transition into a second historical piece set in a different time and place. Gould¿s writing is simple and beautiful although I wish she had gone into more detail about the city itself, rather than the balls and gatherings of the rich because in this story, Venice is almost a character in the book, along with Laura and her friends.The plot that Gould created was as rich and detailed as the dresses that Laura wears. There is of course darkness that Laura becomes aware of in her city and as a reader, we really see Laura grow up from the girl she was in the convent. With her sister¿s death, she begins to learn that life is not as simple as it may have seemed while she was hidden away.There were some parts of the story that I thought could have been done better. I thought that the dialog was a little flat. Meaning that it could have been a little more detailed and complicated. I sometimes found myself a little bored reading conversation between characters and wishing that there were a little more detail in their speech. It was also disappointing that Laura¿s romance with a young artist became part of the story only halfway through and I felt it was a little rushed at the end. Perhaps if the romance was quicker to be introduced and more budding it would have been more interesting to read.I also found that I didn¿t fall for our heroine, Laura, as much from the start. This could be because I¿ve been reading a lot of novels with a main character whose prominent characteristic is that she is consistently kicking butt and taking names. While I didn¿t love Laura at first, she did grow on me throughout the story and I did find myself really liking her in the end.Overall, I thought this was a fun book that a lot of people will enjoy. With it¿s Romeo and Juliet like romance and the ever present mystery surrounding the historic city of Venice and its¿ inhabitants, it¿s a book that¿s hard to put down.6 out of 10
jacindahinten on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Cross My Heart is a book I kept wanting more from. I wanted more background information and more detailed description of anything and everything since it¿s a historical fiction novel. Maybe if the book was longer this information could have been included¿it¿s a rather short and fast read.Cross My Heart is about women and secrets in Venice in the 1500s¿loved the setting. This whole aspect of a secret society of women was good in thought, but it wasn¿t pulled off, in my opinion. None of the secrets which were revealed were all that shocking¿I already figured or assumed some of those. The protagonist in Cross My Heart was scared of these women¿I didn¿t find them scary.
JanaRose1 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
When 16 year old Laura is recalled from the convent, she learns that her oldest sister Beatrice has drowned in the canals of Venice. Her father demands that she marries Beatrice's fiancé, an older unpleasant man. At the last moment, the Segreta, a secret society of women, come to her aid, arranging that her fiancée leaves the city in disgrace. However, Laura is now beholden to the Segreta, who may be more dangerous than she ever imagined.This book was very engaging. It was faced paced and the characters were very interesting. The book was filled with surprises and twists and turns. Overall, I thought the author did a wonderful job. I highly recommend this book to adult and teenagers alike.
ljldml on LibraryThing 10 months ago
1585 Venice, secret societies, a drowning that may have been murder rather than an accident. Sounds as if this book has everything one could wish in a historical thriller. I love Italy, especially Venice and it's history. It's my love of Venice that initially drew me to this book. The characters are not quite believable. Everyone is a bit too dramatic and over the top. Laura, the main character, is naive and child like, although she spent many years in a convent, perhaps her childlike personality it intentional.This is a good historical fiction book. A bit slow, but still a good story. I did enjoy reading it and I would recommend this book to others who enjoy historical fiction
summerskris on LibraryThing 10 months ago
You can't trust anyone in Venice, as Laura finds out in Cross My Heart. Sasha Gould proved these words to be true. When I thought that I had finally figured out the truth, something popped up and baffled me yet again. Inexperienced with politics after having spent the last six years of her life in a convent, Laura struggles to understand what she has gotten herself into as she is swept into the mysterious world of the Segreta. Initially, it seems that Laura may have done an incorrigible wrong in giving up the secret that she possesses, and I found it cowardly of Laura to betray the Doge's trust, but it is in truth a stepping stone into greater intrigue. And I can't blame her desire to get out of a marriage with a sleazy old man with bad breath.Even as Laura's father uses her as a tool in his quest for greater power at the same time that she finds herself falling in love with a painter, strange events take place in Venice, and she learns never to believe anything is an accident. When she learns that her sister Beatrice was murdered after meeting with the Segreta, Laura suspects the women have another agenda in mind. I admire Laura's courage in the face of incomprehensible danger to protect the man that she loves.Have I mentioned how hot the painter is? Not only is he good-looking, he is sweet, caring, and far above the men embroiled in politics. Laura's first meeting with him is at night when she flees from a party after discovering the identity of Beatrice's fiancé, to whom she is now engaged. From that moment, he captured both Laura's heart and my own. I knew that either there had to be more to him for the two to have a happy ending, or she would elope with him. The mystery of how they would achieve their happy ending kept me guessing as more truths came to light, new obstacles emerged, and the plot climaxed.In the end, I still do not understand the intention of the Segreta other than to wield power over men from the shadows. The politics of the time confuses me. Seemingly kind people will turn on you the moment you threaten to take political power away from them; friendship means nothing. Then again, this book takes place in another century. Overall, Cross My Heart is an enjoyable read that I will definitely recommend to those who love a good historical and/or mystery book.
wnk1029 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This YA historical fiction mystery/romance is set in 16th century Venice. After her sister's mysterious death, Laura is removed from her convent to take her place as the bride of a wealthy, elderly gentleman. Desperate for escape from the marriage, she accepts the help of a secret society of women -- though as the story progresses and she finds herself in more dangerous situations, she wonders if her trust in them may be ill-founded.This book is chock full of drama, danger, and secrets. The plot moves quickly with dangerous revelations and startling events throughout the entire novel, which makes it a really excellent quick read. Though some of the minor characters (and perhaps a few of the major characters) are a bit one-dimensional, they serve their purpose in the plot well nonetheless. At first, I had a bit of trouble keeping track of which characters were related to or married to which ones in Laura's social circle, but found it easier to follow as the story went on. As with many YA novels, the love story aspect progresses in fast-forward compared with real-life relationships (I think they had met only four or five times before they expressed their undying love for one another), but the author didn't go too overboard with the romance aspect of it; it was only one thread of the whole story.Overall, I enjoyed the story, and it definitely did hold my interest and make me want to keep reading to find out how it all resolved.
Reader2018 More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the worst books I've ever read. The plot is entirely predictable; as soon as a "surprising" detail was revealed, I guessed the twist. The love story was incredibly bland and unbelievable (seriously, they hang out a few times and suddenly they are declaring eternal love for each other). The writing is not that great and there are many side plots that are never addressed. I did not find myself rooting for any of the characters since I did not find them likeable at all. The "surprise" villian is very cartoony and reminds me of the stereotypical "mean girl" in a pre-teen movie. Overall, I seriously struggled to finish this book. The only thing that kept me from abandoning this book was my new year's resolution to finish every book I start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book I can't wait to get the second!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book I have read in a very long time. Breathtaking history, mystery, romance and intrigue that is guranteed to make your heart beat fast, and grab ahold of you tightly. It will not let you go until you turnthe last page. And then you will reach for the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book 2 is out if u guys r still looking
bookchelle More than 1 year ago
It was a book I coveted because of the cover, as well as the promising synopsis that I read. The first few words in the synopsis are, “High society, murder, romance, and intrigue…” I mean, how can you not want to read Cross My Heart? Gould caught my interest in the first few pages. She killed someone right away! It set the tone for the book, promising to showcase both the beautiful and ugly side of the Italian city. Laura della Scala entered the convent at an early age, free of any responsibilities. Unfortunately, those responsibilities belong to her sister. Laura’s father never gave her the time of day, only reminding her that she was the burden on the family. But that all changes and Laura must leave the protection and shelter of the convent. Laura’s sister dies abruptly. Now, Laura must marry for the sake of the family name as well as to salvage her father’s reputation. But like the mysterious rivers of Venice, the tranquility of her sister’s passing is ruined by the ugliness of a mystery – one only Laura must solve. I had a love and hate relationship with Laura. Maybe hate is a strong word for this instance, but there were definitely times where I did not care for her at all. Understandably, growing up within the confines of a convent, Laura has a sense of ignorance, but maybe that was the point. It would have been unrealistic for Laura to know everything, to have this sixth sense that would have done her wonders. Laura needed to open her eyes and be aware. Wasn’t that the point of Laura’s journey, despite any shortcomings? Set in the late 1500s, Venice was a great setting for Cross My Heart. From the architecture and art, Gould brought light to the emotions that come from the Renaissance era. Add in the natural feel of the rivers and the streets, it was a perfect backdrop for the mystery of it all. Gould included artisan guilds, religious communities, as well as political intrigue. It added to the perfect world for Laura and the others. The mask on the cover is a perfect symbol for Venice, the story, and the characters – beautiful and wealthy on the outside, dark and intriguing on the inside. I thought it was a good play of symbolism, and it definitely carried throughout. Gould’s style of writing was natural, bringing an ease to the flow and pacing of the story. The dialogue between the characters seemed realistic, at least from what I can imagine would take place in late 1500s Venice. I was a little annoyed with a few of the characters, but I’m pretty sure that’s how they were created. The story was filled with drama, and I really enjoyed it. From the masquerades and mystery of it all, it was thought provoking and the love story was romantic. I suggest that you check out Sasha Gould’s Cross My Heart. Who knows what you’ll unmask next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FiveAlarmBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould is a historical fiction/mystery and is perfectly styled towards its target audience of ages twelve and up. While I enjoy historical fictions with a lot of historical details, I am not convinced that a younger audience is always looking for the same thing in that area, so I find this nicely balance. The setting is historical, but Sasha Gould has done a wonderful job in creating characters and a suspense story line that are more in-depth than the historical piece itself. She manages to keep a nice writing style while keeping it MG/YA. I am always happy to read a book for a younger reading audience that isn’t trying to eek out good reviews by writing for their adult reviewers. The beginning of the story lays the groundwork for the protagonist, Laura, where the reader gets familiarized with her circumstance of living in the convent, her family relations, and then the tragedy that changes everything. From that point on, the suspense builds and romance buds. This is a mystery, so the suspense element is built better than the romance piece, but I would have liked to have seen a few more real and intimate moments between Laura and her love interest before love was declared. I did love the suspense portion, it is done in a way that leaves the reader unsure of which characters can be trusted until the end, and plenty of unexpected turns that keep the pages turning, which is why I enjoyed this read as much as I did. I found a lot of pleasure reading about all of the interesting characters that are involved here. One minute I was sure that the Segreta, the secret society, was responsible for the death of Laura’s sister, and the next minute I thought that it could be Laura’s love interest, who is full of his own secrets. I am not going to give anything away here, so if you enjoy MG/YA suspense, give it a try. I hope that you enjoy it.
epicrat More than 1 year ago
The cover for Cross My Heart may not look all that snazzy, and I understand if you choose to pass it by for a more colorful selection with a lusty boy or artsy pizazz. Pardon me as I grab your elbows, dear Readers, and pull you back because YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK! Behind this demure cover is a rich and luscious story that will seduce you like a tall, dark Italian lover and make you revel in the darkness. THE GOOD BITS {Twisty mystery.} Mio Dio, I thought France was the city of love, but clearly I forgot how passionate Italy can be! After all, it is the home of Romeo and Juliet - and Cross My Heart definitely contains all the familiar signs of heartaches, heartbreaks, betrayals, and vendettas. No one can be trusted with a secret, and it was nail-biting to watch Laura try to figure out friend from foe. {Laura + Giacomo!} Can there be another delightful pairing that makes my heart swoon? I haven't felt this smitten since Anna and Etienne - and from the very second that Laura stumbles upon Giacomo, it was instant love at first sight for this reader. Oh, I am a fool for the artistic of male specimen - and Giacomo was absolute perfection. {Secret societies.} I love all this cloak-and-dagger nonsense like nobody's business - and a secret society run by women even more so! While I prefer women use their powers for good, I can understand how the Segreta had to be more cutthroat in an Italy that thrive on vengeance. Men may want to believe that all the power rests in their hands, but I love watching women exercise some of their own ingenuity to nudge the world in a different direction. THE BAD BITS {Left some storylines unfinished.} Certain plot points never went anywhere. Laura gives up a secret that could definitely destroy the Doge of Venice, but the Segreta does not do anything with it. One of Laura's childhood friend has made a love match with the Doge's son, but panicks when a new Segreta recruit reveals that affects his stature as heir. However, this issue does not get mentioned again. I only hope that these unfinished bits and pieces means that there may be a follow-up, although I am half-afraid that it will not bode well for Laura and Giacomo. THE OVERALL If Cross My Heart gets a sequel, it may want to get a bouncer because someone will need to reign in my excitement as I try to push myself to the front of the line. I usually don't get this excited for a historical novel, but Sasha Gould has created such a vivid and provocative Italy that brings to mind all the greatness of Romeo & Juliet.