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Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart #1)

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  1,483 Ratings  ·  230 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)
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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 744 books — 2,411 voters
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YA Historical Fiction 2012
25th out of 126 books — 808 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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!
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.
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-.
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
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 30, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
This review originally appeared here at Tripping Over Books

Friends, historical fiction used to be my favorite, go-to genre. I read tons of Margaret George and lots of historical mysteries. As a history minor in college, I always had a soft spot for it. But when I started reading YA, I became a slave to the TREND. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Vampires. Dystopians. Mermaids. I cannot resist their pull, and so, somehow overnight it seems, historical fiction has fallen by the wayside, and YA h
Aug 30, 2011 Vicky rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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 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
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
Mystery, intrigue, secrets--Cross My Heart was a surprisingly pleasant read.

Cross My Heart takes place in the town of Venice in 1585. Sasha Gould does a great job of setting up the atmosphere for the book in a delicate and exquisite prose. I was immersed in this world, and I loved the aristocratic parties, the carriages, the gondoliers, the palazzos--it created a vivid image in my head, and I was able to admire Venetian Society while reading. The main character, Laura della Scala has just been r
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
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
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.
Jan 20, 2014 Mariana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
2.5 / 5 stars
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.
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
Sep 21, 2016 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 28, 2016 Kristen Kooistra rated it it was amazing
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
Veselina Bakalova-Mihaylovska
Обичам да чета книги, в които действието се развива в Италия. И може би това е едно от малкото достойнства на книгата. Не е идеално лоша, но не изненадва с нищо, дори краят беше доста предсказуем.
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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)

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