Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart, #1)” as Want to Read:
Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart #1)

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,425 Ratings  ·  224 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published March 13th 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cross My Heart, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Cross My Heart

Incarnate by Jodi MeadowsA Million Suns by Beth RevisEverneath by Brodi AshtonInsurgent by Veronica RothThe Selection by Kiera Cass
Amazing YA Covers of 2012
98th out of 740 books — 2,399 voters
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversScarlet by A.C. GaughenCode Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinClockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
YA Historical Fiction 2012
25th out of 126 books — 803 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

3.5 out of 5

From 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
Jenny Q
Nov 24, 2011 Jenny Q rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
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 ...more
May 09, 2012 W rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-read
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
Oct 17, 2011 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 conven
Mar 23, 2012 Pragya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Shelves: netgalley, 2012, mystery

Well, 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 t
May 15, 2016 Natalie rated it did not like it
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
Feb 29, 2012 Kris rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Aug 30, 2011 Vicky rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 11, 2012 Brandi rated it liked it
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 so
Jan 21, 2013 Suzanne rated it really liked it
(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 Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by R.L. LaFevers, 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 daught
Jun 20, 2011 Jelena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
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 t
Jun 16, 2012 Alicia rated it it was ok
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
Aug 20, 2012 Hannah rated it liked it
Recommends it for: historical romance fans
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 w
3.5 stars
Review 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
Oct 11, 2013 Nadine rated it liked it
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 ...more
Jan 21, 2012 Karen rated it it was ok
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 for
Feb 17, 2012 Jacinda rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2012
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 secret
Shannon Irion
Dec 03, 2013 Shannon Irion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
2.5 stars

The one thing I can say I truly loved about this novel was the setting. I do love a good Italian setting and it was clear that the author knew the city of Venice and also had a deep love for the city as well. There was also a love of gondoliers that I sensed and I admit I hadn't given them much thought before, now I wonder about the secrets that gondoliers of the past and today know. There was also a good amount of the Italian language included, which is a weakness of mine as well.

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.
May 05, 2011 Steffie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Tarah McCue
Mar 12, 2015 Tarah McCue rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
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.
Jun 25, 2016 Steph rated it really liked it
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 fiction 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 itsel ...more
Feb 23, 2014 Andréia rated it liked it
Review in portuguese by blog MON PETIT POISON

Confesso que tinha certa expectativa com esse livro – Veneza + segredos + passado parece ser uma combinação boa demais para não ler, e a capa tem um Q de mistério. Confesso que fui com a expectativa um pouco acima do que deveria, não me arrependi, mas queria ler mais, bem mais.

Como disse a protagonista coitada passou a vida toda no convento, ela mora em Veneza, porém ser livre nunca foi uma coisa que lhe foi dada, o pai (por favor insira todo seu ódio
Dec 12, 2011 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
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-.
May 14, 2011 Susie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 25, 2014 XxForeverXx_XxVampire_DiariezxxLuvsSHERLOCKandSUPERNATURAL rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like historical romances and mysteries.
Recommended to XxForeverXx_XxVampire_DiariezxxLuvsSHERLOCKandSUPERNATURAL by: Public library,

Its been a long time since I've read a historical romance/mystery. But this was really good and I really liked it. I saw it at the library and what attracted it to me was the cover. I thought it might be like a story on masquerade balls and something historical. I was right about the historical part. The plot was really unique and riveting. It may have been short, but a lot happened in these 263 pages. I would have finished faster, but I had a lot of school work. Anyway, it w
Jan 20, 2014 Mariana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
2.5 / 5 stars
Aug 01, 2015 Ellie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
It took me a while to finish reading this, but when I did, it left me with a feeling of mysterious satisfaction; the same one I had when I decided to pick up this book from the shelves.

Cross My Heart was a rather enjoyable read for me. The clouds of Venetian secrecy and mystery; her naivety when she came back from the convent; the suspicions one must have in a society like hers. The only thing that sat uncomfortably with me as I read this was the fact that they had declared their love (or at le
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
JPL YA Reading Ch...: Cross My Heart 1 4 Aug 29, 2013 10:04PM  
Mrs. Gallagher's ...: book review 1 4 Jan 19, 2013 01:12AM  
  • Ladies in Waiting
  • Child of the Mountains
  • Ripper (Ripper, #1)
  • Sisters of Glass
  • Violins of Autumn
  • Gilt
  • Secret Letters
  • The Queen's Lady (The Lacey Chronicles, #2)
  • The Wicked and the Just
  • Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1)
  • The Betrayal of Maggie Blair
  • Kissing Shakespeare
  • Debutantes (Debutantes, #1)
  • The Girl in the Mask
  • Cleopatra Confesses
  • Spy for the Queen of Scots
  • Harbinger
  • The Académie
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.
More about Sasha Gould...

Other Books in the Series

Cross My Heart (2 books)
  • Heart of Glass (Cross My Heart, #2)

Share This Book

“Happiness can be a cruel thing in the face of someone else's grief.” 8 likes
More quotes…