Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Cross my Heart by Sasha Gold

Cross my Heart by Sasha Gold is historical fiction. I guess I knew this when it came out this spring, but I waited for it from the library for a long time. By the time I downloaded it, I had forgotten. If you read library books on a Nook like me, there are no back blurbs for memory refreshing. Now that I have finished it, I am not sure WHY I wanted to read it. (Maybe historical fiction is not my thing. OPPS.)

Cross My Heart
Hey, at least this mask makes sense for
the story. I just don't know if they
 had bedazzlers in Renaissance Venice.
Cross my Heart follows 16 year-old Lara della Scala as she is removed from the convent she hates to replace her dead sister, Beatrice, as fiance to the rich merchant Vincenzo. Not only is Laura devestated by the loss of her sister, Vincenzo is as old as time and sexually aggressive. I CANNOT THINK OF ANYTHING MORE REPULSIVE. To avoid this fate Laura trades a secret she learned in the convent for access to the Segreta, a female secret society that controls Venice. They deal in secrets and you do not want to cross them. Laura escapes a future with Vincenzo but she also comes to suspect that her sister's death was more than an accident--and that the Segreta might have been involved.

  • Originality: 4. A standard secret-society murder mystery. There were some plot twists I didn't see coming, but I never felt caught up in the mystery.
  • Absurdity: 7. Laura is a nun one second, and a beautiful, secret-society-joining, falling-in-love young woman the next. HELLO, wouldn't there be a bit of a transition period? Please refer to The Sound of Music. These things take time.
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 5. Ahh, yes, insta-love. Flavored by hunky Italian Renaissance painters. And ex-nuns. I guess Roberto is  dreamy, but I was not convinced. 
  • Level of Harry-Potterness: 3. This is the real reason I didn't like this book. The 'historical fiction' dialogue seemed forced and silly. I can deal with magicians, but apparently I draw the line at historical fiction repartee. DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED on The Gathering Storm. Vampires AND historical Russia? Ugh. (Yes, I actually read this. For shame.) 


  1. I am totally going to read this one. I love historical fiction and Renaissance Venice is awesome. I disagree with your absurdity comment, though - Venice was weird in a lot of ways. One of the strange social practices is that women's dowries got so expensive and extravagant that families would only marry off one of their daughters and send the rest off to convents. So Venice had thousands of aristocratic girls with no religious vocation to speak of sitting in convents and chafing at the idea of enclosure. Rather than find it absurd, I would expect to see a girl in a Venetian convent chomping at the bit to meet a guy and have a little fun. So there's your historical tidbit. Now I'm going to go add this one to my reading list . . .

  2. yayyyyyyyyy for historical tidbits! Thanks for sharing, Kristin!


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