Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd

The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr


The author of To Die For returns to the court of Henry VIII, as a young woman is caught between love and honor. What she sees in secret, she may not tell.

     Mistress Juliana St. John is the lovely, forthright daughter of a prosperous knight’s family. Though all expect her to marry the son of her late father’s business partner, time and chance interrupt, sending her to the sumptuous but deceptive court of Henry VIII.

     Sir Thomas Seymour, brother of the late Queen Jane, returns to Wiltshire to conclude his affairs with Juliana’s father’s estate and chances upon her reading as lector in the local church. He sees instantly that she would fit into the household of the woman he loves and wants most to please, Kateryn Parr. Juliana’s mother agrees to have her placed with Parr for a season and Juliana goes, though reluctantly.

     For she keeps a secret.

     As Juliana accompanies Kateryn Parr to court, Henry’s devout sixth queen raises the stakes for all reformers. Support of firebrand Anne Askew puts the queen and her ladies in life-threatening jeopardy, as does the queen’s desire to influence her husband’s—and the realm’s—direction and beliefs. Later, without Henry’s strong arm, the court devolves to competition, duplicity, and betrayal. The risks could not be higher as Juliana must choose between love and honor, personal fulfillment and sacrifice. Ultimately, her course is driven by a final kept secret, one that undoes everything she thought she knew.

My Opinion:

This book was very good, but I think I liked the first one just a little bit more. In my opinion their was more going on in the first one to keep me more engaged in the read, but this one was enjoyable too.

I liked Meg, from the first book, a little bit more also. Juliana was not as mature even though she strived to be. I think I like more mature characters, ones that don't always gossip and believe everything they hear. I liked Megs romance more than I did Julianas too. Even though I felt pain for both of them over the obstacles that kept them from their beloveds, Megs was much more emotional for me.

I also thought that this whole book would have to do with Juliana and her 'best friend' tell the very end of the book like To Die For, but that was not true and I was a little disappointed.

On the other hand, when I do not compare this book to To Die For, I can honestly say I liked the book. I did get to see Juliana's fears, disappointments, and her devastation with her own trials. As did I also get to see her dedication, love, and perseverance for the trials she faced.

Julianas 'man' was very charming and cute. I wish that he would of been in the book more than he was. I feel like he should of been in the book a little bit more at the end because it felt rushed.

I hope this little review of my thoughts helps you decide whether to read it or not. I hope that it does make it on to your to-read shelf. If you plan on reading the first one, To Die For, I definitely believe you should also read this one.

Rating- 4 Stars

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