by Sasha Gould
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Rating: I liked it
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.
In a city of secrets, what is yours worth?
That is the sentence that first drew me to this book. Secrets? Maybe its the gossip lover in me, but that sounds fascinating.
I am totally loving the cover. It gorgeous and fits the book perfectly! The mask of Venice, the sinister smoke, its just beautiful.
One aspect of this book that really drew me in was the author’s beautiful and enticing descriptions. It has been a while since I’ve been to Venice, but her language brought all of those images back to me. Venice truly is a beautiful city and I can only imagine how beautiful it must have been then with all the masquerade balls and glittering dresses.
Not much character love:
I liked Laura well enough, but she wasn’t memorable. As I’m writing this, I don’t even really remember much of her personality! Don’t get me wrong, I liked her, just wasn’t saying “Go Laura!” throughout the book. I guess indifferent is a good word to describe my feelings towards her.
But I did like Giacomo. He’s not seen very much throughout the book but Laura’s descriptions of him made me swoon a bit. It wasn't so much he himself that made him intriguing, but how Laura describes him. And he’s Italian…so he’s automatically pretty hot. However, as with Laura, I can’t remember his personality too much except that he was kind and always had humor in his eyes. Now, grant it, I am writing this review almost 2 weeks after I read it, but most books can still resonate with me that long afterwards.
While I was indifferent to the main character, the plot was very intriguing. With the death of her sister, she will now be set to marry her sister’s fiancée, someone she doesn’t love. In order to get out of the marriage she meets with a secret society of women, the Segreta, who help her in situation. However, there is always a price to be paid.
I love secret societies. If the description mentions it, I’m almost guaranteed to give it a shot. And this one was interesting. I like that it was a way of female empowerment. While men may lead the society of Venice on the outside, the women truly lead it behind the scenes. Their secrets and gossiping ways are what rule this society. Make the wrong person mad and your status plummets. Scandalous, isn’t it? I love scandal ;)
Well…I wasn’t expecting that:
While the plot was still interesting, I wasn’t….in love with it. Yes, it kept me interested and I wanted to know what happened I just wasn’t “OMG WHATS GONNA HAPPEN?!?!”. This plot had a more subdued feel to it. However, at the end was when I was like “What?!”. I'll be honest, I didn't really know who was the "villain" here. However, the "villain" was not even someone that was on my list of possibilities! And because of this twist, I ended up enjoying it a lot more. I must say that I was indeed shocked! Also, the whole thing with Giacomo surprised me to! I love when a book has twists or shocking reveals.
Cross My Heart is a beautifully written story that takes place in the heart of Venice. The descriptive writing ensnares you in its beauty and culture. While I didn’t fall in love with the characters, it was the twists in the story that really drew my attention.
People that will enjoy it:
Those that like a more subdued feel to a book, light historical fiction (as in not a ton a scandal or intrigue, just some), and beautiful writing language.
All the best,