Laura della Scalla has finally adjusted to the monotinous routine of daily life in the convent where her father banished her when news comes that she must come back to her home in Venice. Instead of being able to relish the new freedoms of her old life, Laura reels with the shock of her sister's death and the revulsion of having to marry her sister's hideous old fiancee. Just when she thinks there is no hope left, Laura is approached by a member of the secret sociey of women in Venice, the Segretta. These women have the power to change Laura's fate, but they require one dangerous entry fee - a secret. Laura must balance her new responsibilities of her newfound life, as well as deal with her increasing attraction towards a mysterious painter and the powerful yet dangerous members of the Segretta. Laura struggles to accept her sister's passing as it seems more and more apparent that her death was no accident, reminding her of the danger of meddling with the wrong people in Venice, as well as the power even one secret can have.
Sasha Gould's Cross My Heart was the perfect mixture of romance, mystery, and historical fiction. Laura's character appeals to any audience because of her sweet and naive nature as well as her undaunted courage and bravery. I especially loved the theme of appearance vs. reality prevalent throughout the book as Laura struggles to understand who her friends and enemies really are. I was constantly engaged and the ending proved to be an unexpected surprise as the conditions of Laura's sister's death are revealed. I loved this book, and I would recommend it to any historical fiction enthusiasts, as well as anyone looking for a good book. I am looking forward to any more books by this author!
Reviewer City, State and Country: Bayside, WI USA