Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould is targeted at ages 12 and up. I am significantly over 12 and I enjoyed it a lot. Laura della Scala was sent to the convent as a young girl so that her family could afford to launch her sister on society. In Renaissance Venice, she anticipated staying there for the rest of her life, only able to correspond in writing with her sister. When she finds out her sister is betrothed to a man named Vincenzo, she is happy for her since it seems as though her sister is happy.
However, she is removed from the convent on orders from her father. She arrives home after being gone for a number of years to find her sister dead and unmarried. Laura is forced to take her sister’s place in the marriage…..and Vincenzo isn’t a young handsome man, but rather a withered old man who holds a lot of power…and her family needs the connection to regain its fortunes.
Laura ends up being connected to the Segreta, a group of women who can make things happen, in exchange for a secret, but it has to be a good secret. If you betray the existence of the group, your life is forfeit. Members are identified only by the mask they wear, and any indication that you know who is behind the mask is not recommended.
Throughout the book, I was drawn in my the vivid language and the pictures the words evoked. The plot twists and turns (often unexpectedly) and the ending is satisfying. I will definitely pick up other books by this author.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through Edelweiss. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.