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Cross My Heart

(Cross My Heart #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,656 ratings  ·  240 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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Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,656 ratings  ·  240 reviews

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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 is p
Jenny Q
Oct 10, 2011 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
Kristen Kooistra
Sep 28, 2016 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
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. ;-) ...more
Jun 26, 2011 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
Oct 29, 2012 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
Jun 13, 2012 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
May 15, 2016 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
Mar 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Shelves: 2012, mystery, netgalley

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
Oct 14, 2011 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
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.
Jun 03, 2011 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-.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: historical romance
Shelves: own, 3-stars
A historical romance that takes place in 1585 Venice. Taken from a convent to marry an old gross man, then joins a secret society to get out of the marriage, plus more mystery and danger and love. A keeper.
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
Jun 05, 2011 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
Jan 21, 2013 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 dau
Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy
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
Mar 02, 2012 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
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 19, 2012 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
Diane S ☔
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 s ...more
PopcornReads - MkNoah
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 ...more
Shannon Irion
Dec 03, 2013 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.
May 05, 2011 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! ...more
Megan  Ferguson
Jun 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
I just couldn't get through it. I started it and found it uninteresting, picked up a different book instead and never went back. The intro didn't fill me with curiosity, and for a book that's supposed to be about a secret society, that's not a good thing. ...more
May 14, 2011 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.
Jan 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
2.5 / 5 stars
Tarah McCue
Feb 11, 2015 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. ...more
Cait S
Dec 09, 2016 added it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at page 60. I'm bored out of my mind and I can't keep pretending that it's going to get better. ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I mean really, a 3.5, but that could just be my response to the end rather than the book as a whole. Laura is retrieved from the convent to take her sister's place after Beatrice drowns. There's a secret society of women who deal in secrets, a darling little romance, and a bit of betrayal. I think I was least impressed with the romance, and I wished there had been more emphasis on the fact that she's reentering society after living in a convent for 6 years. I mean that has to have a bigger impac ...more
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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.

Other books in the series

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

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