Ok. This was actually meant to be out on the 13th February. But I completely forgot. completely.
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 a price, the life of her beloved older sister, Beatrice. Her father's money and status is rapidly dwindling, and out of desperation he orders that she marry her sisters fiancé, a ancient walking skeleton. With nowhere else to turn, Laura enlists the help of La Segreta, a secret society of women who deal in secrets.
But their help comes at a price and Laura soon realises that within the glamorous facade surrounding her, threads of lies, deceit and most importantly secrets are woven. Laura soon suspects that her sister's death was far from an accident, but the murderer's identity is a mystery and it may already be too late...
Set in Venice, Cross my heart is a story of secrets, deception and romance.
Gliding gondolas, glamorous gatherings, secret societies; the way in which Sasha Gould describes and incorporates different details and ideas is beautiful. I wouldn't say that it's the most original read, (the ideas have already been explored by a multitude of writers) but it was nonetheless interesting. The writing is simple but very effective, especially in the way Sasha Gould describes things in a poetic fashion.
Fresh out of the convent, Laura is undoubtedly naive and trusting, her 6 years in a convent justify this of course, so you can't really blame her for being so completely overwhelmed by the world, and easily manipulated. She pulls through(eventually) and adapts quite well to her new life. Laura stands her ground and is loyal to her sister, striving to find her murderer.
I understand that Cross my Heart is set in a time when men practically own the women, so I really liked the idea of a secret society of women who can make things happen, it shows how women have strength, and the power to change things.
The romantic relationship between Laura and the painter, Giacomo, was lovely but a little too quick for my liking: they meet, they talk, he declares undying love.
The twist was unexpected, and it set off a series of completely shocking events which made the book unputdownable (yep, that's a new word :D). The pace of the book, which until then had ranged from slow to moderate, suddenly took off, leaving me utterly astounded.
I can't say that I didn't expect an "evil/bad" character in this book, yes there were the obvious ones e.g. the murderer, but then you've got the ones that work behind the scenes, or hide behind an innocent mask... Why is it always the nice(ish) ones that are completely psychotic?!?
Now, ****SPOILER ALERT, CONTINUE AND RISK RUINING THE ENTIRE BOOK!!****
On page 249-ish, the supposed letter from Roberto had red lights and warning signs all over it!!
"My dearest Laura,
Come this instant, and don't consult with anyone. Come alone to a barge at Saint Lucia harbor, where I will be waiting for you.
May my love bring you quickly,
Ahem, I shall go about this in a dignified and calm manner...
HOW CLUELESS CAN ONE BE?!? GAH!!
I shall now write you the steps to luring someone to their death:
Step 1: Forge a letter from their true (cough) love
Step 2: Ask them to meet at the scene of their impending death
Step 3: Meet them there
Step 4: Take all the time you need to kill the fool that believed your letter
GAH!!! and the sad thing? The characters fall for it every time...
****THE SPOILER HAS ENDED****
Cross my Heart was a very quick, entertaining and fascinating read, and I assume there will be another book due to the nature (gah! T'was a cliffhanger!) of the ending. I'll definitely be dropping back into this captivating world again, as soon as the next book is out...
I apologize for my need for the spoiler... I just HAD to rant... I had too!