Series Review: Cross my Heart by Sasha Gould

Series: Cross my Heart
Author: Sasha Gould
# of Books: 2 (Cross my Heart, Heart of Glass)
Complete?: Not sure if there will be a third book
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Venice, Mystery, Historical
Heat Rating: cold

Thoughts:

I read the first book, Cross my Heart, as soon as it came out but before I started the second book, I decided to reread it because I couldn’t remember what exactly had happened.

I have to say that book 1 Cross my Heart was enjoyable. The mystery element is a nice feature and I find I don’t often read books that are mostly a mystery plot so it was a nice change. As you can see from my overuse of the word “nice” that’s all I can really think to summarize the book as: it was a “nice” easy and quick read. While I think there is enough going on plot-wise, it still felt like something was missing from the book. I don’t know what it is but I think it is just missing that little something that would make it a 5/5. Perhaps it was a little rushed in how the plot progressed? But I’m not sure if that was really it. I also think the romance is a little lackluster–I don’t really get their connection so I would have appreciated a little more romance there.

Laura starts off very naïve in book 1–and rightfully so as she has been in a convent for the last 6 years. I find one of the key differences between Cross my Heart and Heart of Glass is that she fully matures into a stronger, intelligent and independent person. There is obvious growth to her character and I really like the Laura we get in book 2.

Heart of Glass I think is a lot better overall than Cross my Heart (and my rating of 3/5 for Cross my Heart vs 5/5 for Heart of Glass on Goodreads, attests to this). In this book there is that something that was missing in the first book and I really enjoyed it a lot more. Which surprised me considering I didn’t see what could possibly take place in the sequel but I was proven wrong. There is a lot more going on in this book and I had a hard time putting it down. It wasn’t predictable and I was constantly re-evaluating my theories about what was actually happening.

Another thing I liked about book 2 was the lack of description. In the first one, I found I got a little bored of the description of the setting and the dresses, etc. In book 2, I didn’t get that so much. Also, if you are worried that these books will have complicated renaissance era speech or writing style–have no fear! These books read very much like a contemporary novel–which has its pros/cons depending on what you expect to get from a historical novel.

One thing I like about this series is that each book wraps up nicely within itself. There are obvious threads that will be present in the next book, but as I reader I am satisfied with how each book ended. But, that being said, if there is a third novel, I will be reading it–I just hope it can be as great as Heart of Glass.

Conclusion:

Cross my Heart wasn’t the greatest novel I have ever read, but it sets up for an awesome sequel in Heart of Glass which should not be missed! So spend the few hours it takes to read Cross my Heart just so you can enjoy Heart of Glass!

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Venom by Fiona Paul (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1) and The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Synopsis for Cross my Heart (from Goodreads):
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 Segreta, a shadowy society of women who deal in only one currency—secrets. The Segreta seems like the answer to Laura’s prayers. The day after she joins their ranks, Vincenzo is publicly humiliated and conveniently exiled. Soon, however, Laura begins to suspect that her sister’s death was not a tragic accident but a cold-blooded murder—one that might involve the Segreta and the women she has come to trust

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