After solving her sister’s murder in Cross My Heart (2012), 16-year-old Laura once again becomes perilously implicated in the secrets and scandals of 16th-century Venice when her fiance is accused of murder.
Laura’s blissfully betrothed to the doge’s handsome son Roberto. As a member of the Segreta, a clandestine society of upper-class women who trade secrets to protect Venice, Laura’s given her first solo assignment. The same night, an unidentified woman is murdered in Roberto’s rooms, leading to his arrest. Convinced Roberto’s innocent, Laura seeks help from the Segreta, but she finds herself distracted by the attentions of rakish Prince Halim, who’s heading a diplomatic mission from Turkey. When Halim identifies the murdered woman as his sister and threatens to attack Venice unless Roberto dies, the doge’s rivals seize power. As Laura works to save both Roberto and Venice, she discovers a link among the murder, Halim’s visit, Venice’s political takeover and a vengeful plot by an old enemy determined to punish Laura and the Segreta. Once again, feisty, fearless, feminist Laura narrates her story in the present tense, giving it a breathless pace, nail-biting excitement and female insight as she sashays along the canals and corridors and through the slums and palaces of Venice, unraveling secrets and breaking hearts.
Romance, revenge, treachery and intrigue. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)