Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review & Giveaway! The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd!


The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr by Sandra Byrd
Howard Books / June 2012
About the book: 

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 rating:
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket


My thoughts:

The Secret Keeper is the second book I've read by Sandra Byrd and, while I really enjoyed To Die For, I think I enjoyed this one even more!

Even though this novel is fiction, it is also filled with history! To those familiar with Henry VIII's life, you'll definitely know some of the things that happen in The Secret Keeper, but I also think you'll learn some things you didn't know (I for one did). Especially regarding Kateryn Parr - I knew she was Henry's sixth wife and the one that survived, but there was so much I learned about her in this novel that I didn't know. Plus, it was in the concept of the story, so I think that makes it easier to remember. :)

At times, it was hard to get into the story because time seemed to move rather quickly. I will say, though, I loved how each chapter listed the season(s), year(s), and place(s) that chapter would take place in - I found that helpful.

It was a little weird how a couple of people in this story received visions/prophecies and while I don't think that sort of thing happens now-a-days, it did fit the story.

There are some things in The Secret Keeper that might now be good for younger readers - a slightly graphic rape scene and some things following that. I didn't think any of it was offensive, but just not for young readers.

The characters were so great! I especially liked James Hart - he was very caring and a great guy. He was probably my favorite character from this book. Meg (from To Die For) makes a small appearance in this book, which was great - I liked finding out a little about what was happening in her life. I can only hope that the characters from The Secret Keeper appear in Sandra's next novel, Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I!

Overall, I really liked the whole book and loved the ending! A wonderful historical read! I recommend it to mature readers who enjoy historical novels. 4 1/2 stars.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*


Was my review helpful? If so, please click "yes" on Amazon. Thanks!


Book Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd! US only. Ends 12:01am (EST) on 8/01/2012


Enter via the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

73 comments:

  1. thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! Thanks for entering! :)

      Delete
  2. Thank you for the giveaway. This book sounds like a great read and I will be sure to put it on my TBR list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gale! It was a great read! :)

      Delete
  3. Good review Melanie! I've been eyeing this book. Love the cover!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Julie! I agree - the cover is really pretty! :)

      Delete
  4. great review I'd love to read it. Tam.c

    ReplyDelete
  5. This book sounds like one I would really enjoy. Thanks for the giveaway! julierupert@gmail.com.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This sounds like a good summer read. And I love secrets. Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would love to win!!!
    God Bless!
    Sarah Richmond
    sarahrichmond.12@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I loved "To Die For" and can't wait to read this one! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To Die For was really good! Thanks for entering! :)

      Delete
  9. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing, Melanie. I appreciate your time and effort very much, and I'm delighted that you like the book so much. Blessings!

    Sandra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sandra, for letting me review this book and host a giveaway! :) Looking forward to Elizabeth I's novel! :)

      Delete
  10. Okay I really need to win this book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for entering, Patricia! :)

      Delete
  11. I don't see how to enter the giveaway...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a Rafflecopter form - it might take a moment to load.

      Delete
  12. Sounds really good! Thanks for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have been waiting to read this!!! I am super excited.

    ReplyDelete
  14. So looking forward to this one and your review for it! Thanks for the chance to win :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. The title alone is intriguing! I hope I win! Thanks for hosting the giveaway:)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great review! I have been hearing great things about this book , I would love to win it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love the cover and your review on this book. Would love to read it!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. This sounds like a great summer read. Thanks for the giveaway.-Karen

    ReplyDelete
  19. I really appreciate your honest review and thank you for the contest.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sounds like a great book. Id love to win it!
    Bethany

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love historical fiction! This sounds like a great book!

    Thanks for the giveaway! =)

    ReplyDelete
  22. This sounds like a very interesting book. I really enjoy fiction that is history-based.
    Thanks for the review and the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great review! Thanks for the giveaway! :D

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love historical novels, and it looks and sounds like a great book ! I cannot wait to check it out ! Thank you for the giveaway !

    -Angy

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great Review , Thank you so much. This Book sounds so good, please add me to your Giveaway.
    I'm a follower
    Blessings

    ingrids62448(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love historical fiction! This looks like a great book to read.

    ReplyDelete
  27. This book sounds interesting. Thanks for the giveaway! :D

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for letting us know about your giveaway - found out about through your goodreads invitation :-) I've been wanting to read this book and the first one! Sandra Byrd is a great author. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for the review! The cover is beautiful!

    Lisa Holmes Garrett
    lag110 at mchsi dot com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Would love to win this!
    Battles2001@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I LOVE this cover... and I really enjoy historical fiction. This book just looks great! Thanks for a chance to win!

    Ladette

    ReplyDelete
  32. This sounds like a great one! Thanks for the review and the giveaway!! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love reading historical books!
    Angela Hartness
    awhartness@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks for a fantabulous giveaway!
    MonjaBlue(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I thought I had posted on here already... for some reason rafflecopter is NOT showing up for me!! :( On anybody's blog/giveaways. I dont know why.

    Anyhow, I LOVE this book cover. I also really enjoy historical fiction. Thanks for the chance to win!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Enter me this book looks great!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have not read any books by this author but this looks good.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love reading historical fiction. The cover looks great. Thanks for the chance.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'd love to read this book! Historical fiction is one of the genre's I enjoy! :D

    ReplyDelete
  40. Sounds interesting! I like Sandra Byrd's work. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Looking forward to reading this one! Thanks for the
    giveaway opportunity.
    Laura P
    lauras67@juno.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thank you for the great eview, sounds like a real good Book, I love Hist.Fiction and can't wait to read it.
    Please enter me in your Contest.
    Many Blessings.

    ingrids62448(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Love the review..if i dont win this,i'm gonna get it anyways :)

    Aaiza I.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks for the great giveaway
    Amy Campbell
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  45. I've heard about this book several times now :D

    ReplyDelete
  46. The cover to this one is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I would love to win this book for my daughter. She thoroughly enjoyed Sandra's book, To Die For.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thank you for the opportunity to win and review. I appreciate the ages appropriate information. I add this information to my reviews.
    mnleona@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. Sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I have not read any novels from this time period in FAR too long! "The Secret Keeper" looks very good and worthwhile.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thank you so much for the great review, and the opportunity to win this book! It sounds like a GREAT read!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd sounds wonderful.Thank you for the opportunity to win.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I always like reading books by others with the same last name. I pretend they're family. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  54. My book club just read and discussed To Die For. It would be great to win this next book to continue the history. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of The Secret Keeper.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  55. I just checked out To Die For, so would love to read this one as well!

    ReplyDelete
  56. I read this, and loved it! Would LOVE to own a paperback copy of it -- the cover is SO pretty! All the ones in this series are!! It's definitely a series, imo, that a person needs on their bookshelf!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment - I love reading them! Comments are moderated and I reserve the right to not publish any comment that I find to be offensive (i.e. foul language, inappropriate content, etc.) or spam.

Thanks for stopping by and for commenting! =)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~ Philippians 4:8

Some of the links in my blog posts, tweets, social media posts, etc. contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.