Read Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould Online


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 theVenice, 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 trust....

Title : Cross My Heart
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780385741507
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 262 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Cross My Heart Reviews

  • Jessie(Ageless Pages Reviews)
    2018-12-14 16:20

    Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!3.5 out of 5From the initial sentence of, "His gondola slips through the water like a knife cutting into dark silk," I knew I was in for an atmospheric historical read. I love when settings are strong, vivid and alive almost (see: Constantinople in Theodora: Empress. Actress. Whore; Prague in Daughter of Smoke and Bone; Prague again in The Book Of Blood And Shadow, etc.) and my hopes were set high for Venice and for Cross My Heart itself. The cover is pretty apt for the novel as well: showing both the light and dark sides to the fabled Italian city and foretelling a dangerous future for our intrepid heroine. Laura della Scala's tale didn't enrapture me as much as I'd anticipated from the eerie first sentence but instead grew on me slowly, involving me more and more as each chapter drew to a suspenseful close. A slow-burner rather than an instantly engrossing read, Cross My Heart should definitely be given the benefit of the doubt and read to the end.Laura, a likeable if not totally remarkable teenage protagonist, was consigned to a convent at an early age. With an older sister to marry off ("through nothing but an accident of birth, she remains free, while I languish") and a spendthrift father Laura is nothing but a burden on her family. So once thrust from the convent, Laura is generally and genuinely unlike most girls her age of Venice: she is sheltered, naive and trusting - that is to say weak in a city of sharks above water. Laura's subsequent enrollment into the secret society of La Segreta exposes her to dark elements in her own hometown she never suspected. Going from under the thumb of the dictator-esque Abbess to the supervision of her father, Laura is never the one making the decisions about her own life: a situation many teens reading this will find easy to relate with and similar to their own modern-day lives. With that act of quiet rebellion that is simultaneously the first time Laura chooses something for herself, Laura eventually realizes she has only exchanged the convent's reins for her father's and her father's for the mysterious women in the society. There was only ever an illusion of control once she joined them, and Laura's life gets unpredictable and dark in the streets and canals of Venice.The style of writing is elegant and feels entirely natural. I enjoyed Sasha Gould's consistently smooth writing and simple but steady style. Her style lends itself well to the tone of the book as well as to the city of Venice itself. I did wish for more detail and life from Venice the city; I loved what was there but I just wanted for more about the city and less about the colorful pageantry and parade of the noble class and their balls. There were several side plotlines threaded in with the mystery of Laura's sister's death that seemed slightly generic and fully predictable. The teenage romance with the painter, the "reveal" . . even the decades-long feud that was ended with a whimper... all seemed slightly underdeveloped. What kept me going and interested was Venice itself, as well as the original mystery of what happened to Beatrice and why she was murdered. That compelling plotline was pulled off marvelously well: I was genuinely fooled by many a red herring placed by Laura's suspicions/the author and the eventual villain surprised and delighted me with what it meant for the storyline. In a slowly paced novel, I just wished it had felt less rushed at the conclusion and more in pace with the meat of the story.Ms. Gould's keen eye for setting and atmosphere provide an excellent - and darkly alluring - setting for a murder-mystery with a splash of teenage romance. Though it was not a perfect outing and better than my first impressions lead me to believe, Cross My Heart ended with me keen on getting my hands on the as-yet-unnamed sequel set in the same beautiful and deadly city. Keep an eye out for this one later in the year: it's scheduled to hit the shelves March 13, 2012.

  • Jenny Q
    2018-11-27 12:20

    2.5 Stars. Oh, this story could have been so much better! It has such a great foundation: Sixteenth-Century Venice, a secret society of powerful women, a murder mystery, a star-crossed romance. Alas, this felt more like a shell of a really good story. When Laura’s sister Beatrice drowns in a canal, Laura’s father frees her from the convent he banished her to six years ago. Excited to have a second chance at life, Laura is quickly disillusioned when she discovers she is to be her father’s puppet and take her sister’s place in an undesirable marriage. When she learns her sister died under suspicious circumstances, she becomes determined to uncover the truth. An innocent little butterfly amid the glittering malice of the Venetian aristocracy, she finds herself ensnared by a secret society, and as she pieces together the last days of her sister’s life, she discovers that if she probes too far she may end up murdered, too.If only a little more time had been spent on developing the characters, developing the relationships, creating more meaningful motives behind the plot twists . . . As it is, everything is too light and too easy. Laura is too naïve and immature, she and handsome artist Giacomo fall in love when they are still basically complete strangers; clues in her sister’s murder just seem to bump into her, etc. It had the potential to be very suspenseful and dramatic—there are some great plot twists and secrets revealed—but instead it’s rather silly and over-dramatic, because the author did not dig deep enough into the story to create realistic relationships and scenarios, and the big climactic scenes at the end just seemed rather ridiculous. At only 262 pages, there’s really no reason why a little more meat couldn’t have been added to this stew.

  • Daniel
    2018-12-17 15:05

    Последните няколко глави преобърнаха из основи всичко градено в книгата до тогава. Толкова разкрития и обрати не съм срещал скоро. Изключително много ми хареса и недоумявам как Саша Гулд не е особено известен автор. Та тя е прекрасен писател!

  • Kristen Kooistra
    2018-11-30 18:16

    I really liked this book! It definitely should get more love. It's a very sweet, and smooth ride. The characters are likeable or hateable as they need to be.I love the mystery element to it. Trying to figure out who the Segreta are. Do they mean good or ill? And of course the secret around Laura's sister's death. The romance was a bit, hmm, not cheesy, but it lacked depth. I thought the characters didn't spend enough time with each other or really have enough meaningful conversation for there to be the passion they display by the end. But it comes across as more sweet like I picture fairytale romances(meet once and then they're married), rather than ridiculous or any of the other terms I'd normally apply to love that happens so quickly.But I felt the romance was very much a side element to me, so it didn't weigh in much for my overall thoughts.I really liked the wide-range of female characters in the Venice setting. Each with different motives, different goals, different personalities, etc. I loved the sweetness to Laura's character. She was smart, cared about people, and tried to think positive about people and situations, but being willing to fight for herself if the need arose.The only part I thought was kind of "eh" was at the beginning of the book Laura learns a big secret, which she promises not to tell and then promptly does a short time later. I wanted to see something come of that, but nothing ever did. Probably my favorite part though was the cool twist the story had based on perceptions. I know, that's so vague! But if I say more I'm afraid I'll give it away and it's too good to ruin that for anyone.

  • Suzannah
    2018-11-29 11:19

    I wrote a really hilarious review for this book before I remembered I'm trying to cut down on the number of negative reviews I post. So, tell you what. Comment below, or ping me a private message, and I'll ping you my review. ;-)

  • Becky
    2018-12-03 16:23

    Cross My Heart is a historical novel set in Venice. It is a tale of secrets, deceptions, power and love.Laura was sent to live in the convent when she was twelve years old. She never understood why her father sent her away but she missed her older sister terribly. In the convent they call her La Muta – she is the silent one. She has learned not to ask questions and to wear her face as a mask to avoid the wrath of the Abbess. Despite her faith, Laura has never felt like she belonged in the convent. One night she is called to the infirmary to assist Sister Maria save a dying man. It is a night that will change her life forever. The next day she is called by the Abbess and told she is to leave the convent. Laura can hardly understand what would bring such a change. She has longed for the chance to see her family again and so she has many hopes for a happy future when she leaves.Of course, there are great dangers ahead and Laura has not been educated as to the ways of the Venetian aristocracy. She is an innocent girl and so the plot unfolds with her becoming both a victim of deception and a deceiver in her own right. The image of the mask and the concept of disguise are very much a part of this story. Venice is full of wealthy, beautiful characters with secrets – many of them dark and sinister. Laura has to navigate her way through this unfamiliar world of liars and false friends to find a truth. I don’t want to tell you which truth she is looking for as it is a bit of a spoiler. Her father is a self-centred imbecile. He is determined to marry Laura off to whichever man can secure him a position on the Grand Council. His political position and his wealth are all he cares about. And so, poor innocent Laura is devastated when she meets her betrothed: Vincenzo – an old, decaying man who looks at her like a piece of succulent meat. Laura cannot face being married to such a man. She would rather return to the convent and be a bride of Christ. In among all this fear and anguish, there is the joy of first love too. But Laura’s father will never let her marry a poor man. An opportunity to escape the marriage is presented to her but it comes at a heavy price. Is it a price she is willing to pay? The consequences may be greater than she ever imagined.I found Cross My Heart such an easy book to get into. The writing was elegant, the story was full of drama – think masked balls, cloaked figures, daggers and spies – and the love story was endearing. I loved all the gondola references, the way the author evoked Venice through her descriptions of the architecture and the feeling that the book was built on “secrets and lies”. Fans of Mary Hoffman’s David and Karen Wallace’s Emerald are sure to enjoy this book. I know that I certainly did.

  • Brandi
    2018-11-19 14:13

    This was much better than Cinder, but I'm not sure it was meant to be a Cinderella story. You can read my thoughts of why Cinder was such a failure here if you'd like. I thought that maybe I should rate this with an extra star because I read it in one sitting, but even with that fact weighing on me I couldn't quite do it. It was good don't get me wrong, but there were parts that made me roll my eyes just because of the wording, or the fact that a character should be using their head better or something along those lines. Laura's father was a great villain and I hated him straight away, but the real villain of the story sort of surprised me for some reason.The story is basically about a girl named Laura who is sent to the convent in her hometown of Venice, and while she is serving her time there (which she often likens to prison and having a cell to live in, and frankly it sounds close to hell to me too) she learns she gets to go home. Quickly she realizes that this homecoming will not be the joyous return to freedom as she hoped, because once she arrives home she learns her beloved sister has died. And she is to replace her in the marriage contract her deplorable father has arranged. Once she meets the old crone that is to be her husband she is approached by a woman who offers her a way out; as long as Laura agrees to share a secret worthy of receiving help. Laura shares her one secret and in return is saved from the certain hell that her life was to become, but all is not as it seems, and now she finds herself in even more peril than she had been before.So as good as this sounds, and it was pretty good, there was just something not quite right for me. I can't put my finger on it, but it's like how sometimes it seems that Laura was thinking too much of herself (at one point she thinks that the death of a character is the fault of the "forces controlling" her, and I did not think it so), and other times she would be saying one thing and then doing another (like her flip flopping with her love interest). I did enjoy Giacomo, and he had some swoon worthy lines, but again, there was just something not quite on the level I wanted. So basically this was good, but not the best, and far from the worst. I don't see myself ever reading it again, but it was a nice enough that I'm not sorry for the time I spent with it.

  • W
    2018-11-20 13:13

    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.

  • Natalie
    2018-11-28 19:19

    A suspicious murder set in Venice - I was pulled in at first. However, I found the "love story" to be tiresome. For example, one character is asking the male love interest why he loves the main character Laura. His response? "She's the most beautiful woman in Venice." Really??? Superficial much?? Also, they barely spoke and then they were in love. I wasn't feeling it. Laura was foolishly naive and did not learn and grow throughout the novel. Her father was an annoying alcoholic social climber. I didn't like him at all. The women of the secret society seemed like nothing more than gossips. I didn't see their "power." Laura's best friend seemed superficial. So you can see, I didn't really care for anyone. Also - I found the story to be too short. Everything was wrapped up so quickly which made me feel like the "problems" of the novel weren't really problems at all. Again, I read this because it set in Venice and I love Venice, but I was seriously underwhelmed by it.

  • Pragya
    2018-11-23 13:12

    3.5/5Well, well, guess where I landed this time? Venice, in the place of gondolas and that too in the year 1585. I took some time to settle in that era. And though I kept reading, it was only the latter half of the book that captured me so intensely. So if you feel like abandoning the book after the first few pages, don’t. It’s all worth it towards the end. This is the story of Venice, the city of secrets, where no one is to be trusted and danger lies everywhere. It is full of twists and turns that will leave you gasping. It is the story of Laura and her stint with life back home. Home is where her father is, a selfish man who only thinks in terms of money. How does Laura cope with it all? What secrets are revealed? How did her sister Beatrice die? There are so many answers to be found and they are worth finding out.Read this book for a tryst with Venice and a tread through the city of secrets.

  • Rosa
    2018-12-02 12:27

    3.5 starsReview will be posted here and at my blog on February 13 2012.Ok. This was actually meant to be out on the 13th February. But I completely forgot. completely.**headbang headbang**So, I apologize for the extremely late review post. Here it is:Forcibly sent to a convent at a young age, Laura della Scala is overjoyed to finally taste freedom when she is summoned by the stranger she refers to as 'father'. But she soon realises that her freedom comes at a price, the life of her beloved older sister, Beatrice. Her father's money and status is rapidly dwindling, and out of desperation he orders that she marry her sisters fiancé, a ancient walking skeleton. With nowhere else to turn, Laura enlists the help of La Segreta, a secret society of women who deal in secrets.But their help comes at a price and Laura soon realises that within the glamorous facade surrounding her, threads of lies, deceit and most importantly secrets are woven. Laura soon suspects that her sister's death was far from an accident, but the murderer's identity is a mystery and it may already be too late...-----------o_O------------ Set in Venice, Cross my heart is a story of secrets, deception and romance.Gliding gondolas, glamorous gatherings, secret societies; the way in which Sasha Gould describes and incorporates different details and ideas is beautiful. I wouldn't say that it's the most original read, (the ideas have already been explored by a multitude of writers) but it was nonetheless interesting. The writing is simple but very effective, especially in the way Sasha Gould describes things in a poetic fashion. Fresh out of the convent, Laura is undoubtedly naive and trusting, her 6 years in a convent justify this of course, so you can't really blame her for being so completely overwhelmed by the world, and easily manipulated. She pulls through(eventually) and adapts quite well to her new life. Laura stands her ground and is loyal to her sister, striving to find her murderer. I understand that Cross my Heart is set in a time when men practically own the women, so I really liked the idea of a secret society of women who can make things happen, it shows how women have strength, and the power to change things. The romantic relationship between Laura and the painter, Giacomo, was lovely but a little too quick for my liking: they meet, they talk, he declares undying love. The twist was unexpected, and it set off a series of completely shocking events which made the book unputdownable (yep, that's a new word :D). The pace of the book, which until then had ranged from slow to moderate, suddenly took off, leaving me utterly astounded. I can't say that I didn't expect an "evil/bad" character in this book, yes there were the obvious ones e.g. the murderer, but then you've got the ones that work behind the scenes, or hide behind an innocent mask... Why is it always the nice(ish) ones that are completely psychotic?!?Now, ****SPOILER ALERT, CONTINUE AND RISK RUINING THE ENTIRE BOOK!!****On page 249-ish, the supposed letter from Roberto had red lights and warning signs all over it!!"My dearest Laura,Come this instant, and don't consult with anyone. Come alone to a barge at Saint Lucia harbor, where I will be waiting for you. May my love bring you quickly,Roberto"Ahem, I shall go about this in a dignified and calm manner...HOW CLUELESS CAN ONE BE?!? GAH!! ppfffsssshhh ARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!I shall now write you the steps to luring someone to their death:Step 1: Forge a letter from their true (cough) loveStep 2: Ask them to meet at the scene of their impending deathStep 3: Meet them thereStep 4: Take all the time you need to kill the fool that believed your letterGAH!!! and the sad thing? The characters fall for it every time...**sigh** ****THE SPOILER HAS ENDED****Cross my Heart was a very quick, entertaining and fascinating read, and I assume there will be another book due to the nature (gah! T'was a cliffhanger!) of the ending. I'll definitely be dropping back into this captivating world again, as soon as the next book is out... I apologize for my need for the spoiler... I just HAD to rant... I had too!

  • Jelena
    2018-12-08 17:08

    Historical books are not my cup of tea, so that`s the reason I can`t give this book high rate. There were too much stereotypes for me (regarding the historical time and the behaviour of the people back than). Apart from that fact I could say I enjoyed the quick reading. The story is set in Venice during the Renaissance time, which adds an extra mysteriousness to the already existing one. The story begins with a mysterious death of a young woman, who drowned in the canal (an accident?).The next thing we know is how monotonous Laura`s life goes behind the walls of the convent where she has spent the last 6 years. The only thing that brings some excitement in her predictable life, is the anticipation of receiving a letter from her elder sister, Beatrice, who is supposed to get married to the lovely Vincenco (or maybe not). One night Laura is called to help in the ward where she finds a man on the bench tossing and apparently suffering a pain. When she manages to help him by giving him some herbs, he recovers from that mysterious attack and tells her no one in Venice should know about what has just happened. She promises to keep his secret.For a moment I was afraid that half of the story will be set in the convent, which I wouldn`t have enjoyed at all. But than we find out Laura is getting out into the “big world”, but only to find out that her sister is dead and she is supposed to replace her in the marriage with Vincenco. At the big party organiasied by the Doge of Venice, Laura is supposed to meet her future husband. There she also meet some new people, and some she already knew from before - friends from her childhood and the man from the ward (who turns out to be the Doge himself, but he dosen`t remember her). Well, one of the first shocking things is that Vincencio is not the romantic young man Laura imagined him to be, but a ugly man, even older than her father. It takes her only one dance with him to know she would do anything not to merry him. But her father has other plans for her – the wealthy man is needed to take the family up into the elite again. Desperate Laura is heading out of the house to take some fresh air. In the garden she meets the young painter of the Doge`s family – Giacomo, but she soon finds out she is not supposed to speak with people of a lower class, otherwise she would bring herself a bad name. Laura needs to catch up with too many things now when she is out of the convent – how is appropriate to behave, to dress, to speak and all those stuff. But her biggest problem is how to avoid sharing the rest of her life with that awful old man. And here comes the Secret sociality, contained of numerous powerful women, who actually pull the strings in the hidden Venice`s life. They offer help to Laura, but not without its cost. What they ask for is more precious than money – they want is a secret. And if it`s worth it, Laura would get what she wants. But does Laura have so valuable secret to share?Well, I won`t give up much more of the story.I can only tell you it`s just the beginning. There are more twisted storylines (and characters) to come with several unexpected turning points. No one is who he/she appears to be. Everyone has their own secrets and fears.If you enjoy stories full of mysteriousness, betrayals, danger, half-truths, rumors, and romance in a historical settings, I would recommend you “Cross my Heart”.Well, and just one last thing to add, if at the end you are wondering why not everything is completely clear and revealed, just keep in mind there is a second (and last) book to come (but it`s not announced when).

  • Suzanne
    2018-12-09 13:29

    (Rounding up what is probably a 3.5)I read this one almost right after another piece of historical fiction that deals with court intrigue and murder , so it's tough not to compare the two. Only about 100 years earlier and set in Brittany rather than Venice, so what makes this historical fiction a bit more successful for me?It's shorter, meaning there's less of a meandering middle in Cross My Heart. Laura, this heroine, though, is also a victim of birth--as are we all, I suppose--a second daughter to a once properious merchant and therefore sent to the convent while her older sister Beatrice is groomed for a good marriage, good for their father's failing fortunes, that is. After years attempting to make a cloistered and reverent novice, she is suddenly plucked back home as a substitute bride for wealthy Vincenzo--older and even more odious than her father--after the mysterious death of her sister in the canals. Only the Secreta, a masked group of noble women working power under men's noses. Their currency is secrets, so luckily, Laura has one from a mysterious man suffering a seizure once at her convent, a man she comes to learn is the Doge, the leader of all Venice, the leader whose secret weakness of the falling sickness is worth bringing some crimes of Vincenzo to light, ending the engagement.Intrigue continues as Laura does not know whom to trust (just as the nun assassin in Grave Mercy did not). Laura has the testimony of their old nurse maid that Beatrice's death was murder at the hands of a man with gold teeth. A vendetta between the Doge's family and another noble family has brought violence into both their houses, and somehow Laura finds herself embroiled in this crazy Renaissance soap opera just by falling for the painter the Doge has hired for frescos in his palace--and a portrait of the lovely Laura.Laura isn't particuarly brilliant, but she does manage to get herself out a few physical scrapes, uncover the culprit behind her sister's death, after a couple of missteps, and learn to stand up for herself against her bully of a father, all while the author maintains fairly good verisimilitude in her historical setting. Thus, overall, this non-magical and briefer tale gets my higher endorsement. Nonetheless, YA demand for ass-kicking from their heroines, even if it is in too limited quantity given the page count in Grave Mercy, will probably mean a greater readership for that novel. Oh, well, give 'em what they want. ANY historical fiction is a hard sell in my library. Assassin nuns in Grave Mercy will likely tend to sway more than all the local colors of a glittering Venice.

  • Crystal (Kris)
    2018-11-28 19:08

    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.Original post at Imaginary Reads

  • Hannah
    2018-11-20 15:26

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that I LURV historical intrigue. Plus Venice? *squeak* And yet, I found quite a big problem going into the novel. I KNEW HALF THE STINKIN PREMISE. (which is why you might now want to read the synopsis..)I hate, hate, hate, summaries that do that.I mean I was pretty much predicting -no, cut that I KNEW- what was happening and what was going to happen for about the first 1/3-1/2 of the novel. Um, sadness? And then not to mention it still started slow. Laura wasn't the most interesting character at the beginning and because I knew what to expect, it lost most the excitement surrounding the intrigue.Luckily, the book began to redeem itself around halfway mark, (the synopsis was finished so things took new twists (YAY)) and the romance began. Giacomo was like a breath of fresh air. Ack. He's awesome. I think the relationship was fairly well developed. They got to know each other pretty well, though I wish there had been more space in the book for that. This book isn't even 300 pages. When I pick up a book that size, I have my doubts. But it was still well delivered.The Venice that is portrayed was beautiful. I really have to give it so Sasha for her lush descriptions and portrayals. It was really great without being to little or to much description. So did I like it? Yeah I did. Not at first, but it redeemed itself to a nice read. By the end I enjoyed it, but still about a 3.5 rating.Content: Mild(view spoiler)[(Language: Quite a bit Deity related phrases, a couple Da**s and He**s. A few moments of innuendo, kissing scenes) (hide spoiler)]

  • Vicky
    2018-12-11 11:02

    What is your secret?Sixteen-year-old Laura della Scala has spent most of her life in the convent under the stern eye of the abbess. When her father frees her from her prison, she is happy that she will be reunited with her sister, Beatrice. Unfortunately, Laura learns that her sister is dead and she herself is now engaged to Beatrice’s fiancé, Vincenzo, a repulsive old man with foul breath and fouler manners.In desperation, Laura appeals to the Segreta, a shadowy powerful society made up of women of Venice. Thus begins Laura’s integration into a group that may have been responsible for her sister’s death. In order to get their help, she must give them a secret—something only she knows and that is powerful enough to warrant their help. From her time in the infirmary in the convent, she knows one that could be dangerous to a powerful family.This is a historical novel that takes place in 1585 Venice. It is a story of intrigue, murder, power, politics and vengeance. It is also a story of love, trust and acceptance.This is not the usual type of story I read. There are no ghosts, time travel or other paranormal aspects. What there is, is an excellent story well told with beautiful imagery. It caught my attention, held it and kept me reading. If you like literary historical fiction, definitely pick this one up. If you want just a nice story with a little mystery, a little mayhem, and a little romance, this is also a good one for you. Unfortunately, it won’t be out until March of 2012, but keep it on your list.

  • Alicia
    2018-11-23 12:02

    The setting, the gowns, the romance, the intrigue... I really thought I would love this book. I ended up thinking it was okay. It just didn't grip me. I couldn't sink in and disappear to the rest of the world. Why it just come off as okay:I think Laura was a little too young for me to relate to (I like YA historical fiction, but I am not a YA so maybe that's why.) The romance seemed a bit too rushed and surface level (again, I am too old and too wise to think falling in love in a rush is a good idea.)There was no real bond between our herione and the oher characters. What I really did like:The descriptions of Venice. I've never been but I was taken there. Really lovely.The attitude and strength of the women who decided to use secrets to take control of their lives. Yeah they may be a little scary to a young girl, but I loved this story arch..... that was kinda it.I might read the follow-ups just out of curiosity. Or I might just read the spoilers in the reviews. Overall, okay book, just not gripping.

  • Nadine
    2018-12-08 14:11

    Venedig 1585: Als jüngere Tochter ist Laura im Kloster aufgewachsen, da die Familienrecourssen darauf verwendet wurden, die ältere Tochter gut zu verheiraten. Als diese ermordet wird, soll Laura ihren Platz übernehmen und den alten, lüsternen Heiratskandidaten ihrer Schwester ehelichen. Sie ist verzweifelt und als sie Zugang zu einer geheimen Schwesternschaft bekommt, die ihr für die Preisgabe eines Geheimnisses einen Wunsch erfüllen wollen, ist sie hin und her gerissen, denn zufällig kennt sie das gut gehütete Geheimnis des Dogen von Venedig.Das Buch liest sich leicht und schnell und lässt das alte Venedig mit seinen Kanälen, Palästen und Intrigen auferstehen. Leider ist vieles sehr vorhersagbar und konstruiert. Oft wird auch mit Klischées nur so um sich geworfen. Die Liebesgeschichte ist mir viel zu offensichtlich und glatt und es fehlte einfach das Knistern zwischen den beiden. Insgesamt ein nettes Buch für zwischendurch, das ich aber nicht wirklich weiter empfehlen würde.

  • Karen
    2018-12-04 12:20

    Laura thinks that she is being rescued from her monontonous life at the convent when her father summons her back home. She is shocked to hear that her beloved olders sister is dead and that Laura is now expected to marry her sister's much older and lecherous fiance to save the family's fortune. Laura is invited to join Venice's secret society of women with the promise that The Segreta will keep the marriage from happening. But, Laura soon learns that she can trust no one.I was really looking forward to this. Lately, I've been drawn to historical novels that showcase strong women and I thought this would fit the bill. I flew through the first half, wondering how Laura was going to get out of her marriage and how her sister really died. But, then the story became way too much of a soap opera for me: people weren't who they said they were, people came back from the dead and others just went insane. It was a little too dramatic for 250 pages.

  • Jacinda
    2018-11-30 11:11

    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.

  • Diane S ☔
    2018-12-03 13:26

    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. Ending seems to be set up for a sequel, looking forward to reading this next one. ARC provided by NetGalley.

  • Shannon Irion
    2018-12-14 17:17

    Cross My Heart is a historical fiction set in 1585 Venice. Laura della Scala is removed from a convent by her father, who is wants to make her marry her sister's fiance, a disgusting old man named Vincenzo. She joins a secret society to escape becoming Vincenzo's wife.I personally thought it was really good. Heart of Glass, the next book, is already out. I really want to read it, especially since the preview at the back of the Cross My Heart looks amazing.

  • PopcornReads
    2018-12-18 12:06

    I’ve always wanted to visit Venice so I’m a sucker for novels that take place there. There’s nothing like a little armchair time traveling. When I read that Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould is a YA thriller taking place in 16th century Venice, it sounded like a winning combination to me. In addition to teens and tweens, this YA novel is likely to appeal to mystery and thriller buffs of all ages. Read the rest of my review at

  • Steffie
    2018-12-14 14:13

    I'm reading this book at the moment and I can't put it down! Blame Sasha for making me exhausted as I'm up half the night reading. Every word of this book makes you want to keep reading. I'm sure when I finally get to the end I'll wish it kept going on. Each night when i turn off my lamp I'm just dying to find out what will happen next. 100% FANTASTIC!!!!!!! Read this book!

  • Vernieda
    2018-12-09 19:07

    How can a book that has so many elements I like (secret societies, intrigue, sisters, etc) end up so failtastic?The first half is pretty meh. Like I mentioned, I can see the shadow of a great book. Then the second half happens and it's a choppy, disjointed mess. Everything happens for the sake of plot with no logic whatsoever and the authorial string-pulling is way too obvious.

  • Tarah McCue
    2018-12-15 18:08

    I enjoyed this much more than I was expecting. I got sucked into the story and couldn't put the book down. I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel.

  • Jenny
    2018-11-22 16:13

    For historic Italy with a mystery try The Falconer's Knot or Stravaganza: City of Masks instead. This is, however, a fun book, just not as developed or mature as the afore mentioned.Graded a B-.

  • Cait S
    2018-11-23 14:07

    DNF at page 60. I'm bored out of my mind and I can't keep pretending that it's going to get better.

  • Susie
    2018-12-16 11:22

    The mystery in this book was mysterious, but I thought it was a little too complicated. Maybe because this is a series and not everything was resolved.

  • Mariana
    2018-12-08 11:07

    2.5 / 5 stars