Cross My Heart
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 fiancÚ, 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.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Abbess Allegreza Annalena Beatrice Beatrice's Bella Donna beside Bianca black hat boat bodice breath Carina cheeks chest close color convent courtyard crowd dance dark Doge Doge of Venice Doge's Doge's palace door dress eyes face father Faustina feel Ferraras fingers Giacomo girl gondolier Grazia hair hand hangs hear holds inside Julius kiss La Lunatica laugh Laura lips look Mark's marriage marry mask meringues mother mouth move never Nicolo night nods paint painter palazzo Paulina peony pull Raffaello remember replies Rialto Bridge ring Roberto rush says Scala secret seems Segreta servant shadow shake my head shoulder shouts side silence silk sister skin slip smile someone sorry stand stare steps stop sure talk tell There's thing trying turn twisted vendetta Venice Vincenzo voice waiting walk wall watch wears whispers woman women wonder words