Title : Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart #1)
Author : Sasha Gould
Published : March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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 - goodreads
In Venice, a secret is deadlier than a knife.
The story takes setting in Venice at year 1585. The first chapter of this book reminds me of Grave Mercy by R.L.LaFevers. Laura is a nun who live in a convent. One day The Abbes tells her to go home, that's when she finds out that her older sister Beatrice is dead from drowning. Her father is only concern for his political status and orders Laura to marry Beatrice's former fiance, Vincenzo. Laura is trying to escape her arrange married and a member of Segreta, a Women Secret Society in Venice, offer their help.
Laura becomes a member of Segreta by paying the only price they accept, a secret. The Segreta gets rid of Vincenzo and succeed in baffling the wedding. Laura met a painter named Giacomo and she falls in love with him. She never suspects that her lover who she trusts carries a big secret himself. As the time goes, Laura learns that Beatrice's dead was unnatural. She tries to find her sister's murderer. She suspects it had anything to do with The Segreta because the last time who saw Beatrice alive was those women.
Another historical novel. YAY!! First, for the cover, it's gorgeous. It is so Venice. A woman wearing a mask, reminds me of Venice dance festival I watched in some movies and it also tells that this woman carries a secret. It gives a mysterious impression. Then the setting, it's in Venice, baby! I always want to visit Venice with all the gondolas and the water way. A beautiful story setting.
I like how the story grows from one chapter to another. It's not too intense but not too slow either. Not too much adrenalin but enough to build my curiosity to keep reading the book to the end. The plot is not easy to guessed which I really really like. I always hate a story that easy to predict and Cross My Heart is 180 degrees opposite. The villain is very unpredictable. I didn't suspect that person at all. Only about 3-4 chapters near the end I had a suspect of the person. The love story is there but not too much either and that a plus one point for me.
For the character, I like Laura's character. Her character begins with a mild mannered. As the story goes she becomes stronger and stronger. She tries to deal with the happenings by herself, another girl power in the story. Giacomo's character is not stick out yet. I hope it will develop in the second book. The mysterious Segreta is a win. A women secret society who knows a lot about Venice's secrets has meetings in various secret places in the middle of the night. How cool is that really? :D
Overall this is a good historical book. An easy read and the book is thin, only 200+ pages. I enjoyed my read but not in the can-not-put-this-book-until-I-finish way. However, I'm anticipating the second book as much. Can't wait for another Venice's secrets and conflicts.
My rating : 4/5