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The Secret Keeper (Ladies in Waiting #2)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  742 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
Juliana St. John is the daughter of a prosperous knight in Marlborough. Though her family wants her to marry the son of her father's business partner, circumstances set her on a course toward the court of Henry VIII and his last wife, Kateryn. When the uncle of the current heir, Prince Edward, returns to Wiltshire to tie up his business with her father's estate, he sees th ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 423 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Center Point (first published June 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wow! what to say?! Other than there was nothing I can say bad about this book! It has made it onto my ultimate favorites list, which is rare! VERY. :)
Mrs. Byrd always has a way to make me happy, sad, angry, ECSTATIC, hopeful, and thankful for a family that loves me. ;) And she is also one of the few authors who can actually make me cry! XD now THAT is a rare thing indeed! ;)
I also thank Mrs. Byrd for not only giving us a CLEAN romance, (and I do mean, clean; it's so hard to find good books these
Rio (Lynne)
Nov 18, 2012 Rio (Lynne) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Byrd's sophomore novel. With the market being over saturated with Tudor books, Byrd is one of the few authors who doesn't rewrite real history and embellish real character's lives for the sake of entertainment. The core of this book is the religious war going on at the time. As many of you know Katherine Parr aka King Henry VIII's final wife was a reformist and almost lost her head over it. Byrd tells the story of Kate's reign through the fictional Juliana, a Knight's daughter who Thomas ...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

It's easy to feel sorry for all six of King Henry VIII's wives - through either political machinations, religious upheavals, or royal miscarriages, and the subsequent falls from the King's favor, most were not to blame for their less-than-happily-ever afters. Almost uniformly victims of the King himself and his Court, the Katherines, Annes and Janes of King Harry have all been thoroughly explored and reinvented in various novels, plays, movies in th
Jun 05, 2012 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Fun History Lesson

Juliana St. John is a young gentlewoman who has prophetic dreams. She’s thrilled to join Kateryn Parr at Henry VIII’s court as a personal servant to the queen in fact the two women form a close bond much like mother and daughter. They both share a love of reading something that was frowned on or even punishable for women at that time. Byrd clearly conveys the rarity and value of books during the Tudor period. Parr even writes and publishes two of her own books. I enjoyed this
Claire Ridgway
Jun 14, 2012 Claire Ridgway rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After having enjoyed Sandra Byrd's first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn, I was looking forward to the release of The Secret Keeper, particularly as it was about my second favourite of Henry VIII's wives: Catherine Parr.

The format of the novel is similar to To Die For, in that the narrator of the story is a lady-in-waiting. In this case, we see the events of the 1540s through the eyes of the fictional Juliana St John, who is chosen to attend Catherine (or Kate as she is know
Jenny Q
Jun 06, 2012 Jenny Q rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tend to stay away from the morass of Tudor fiction crowding the bookshelves these days, but I was impressed with the originality of Sandra Byrd's first novel in her Ladies in Waiting trilogy, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn, and I've long been a fan of Henry VIII's sixth wife, Kathryn Parr. (Or Kateryn, as she's called in The Secret Keeper.) So this is one Tudor novel I was really looking forward to reading, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

The story follows Juliana St. John as Sir Thomas Seymou
Sandra Byrd writes a captivating historical fiction with a solid spiritual base illuminated by the main character, Juliana St. John's propensity toward dreams foretelling the future. Miss St. John's invitation to Court to wait on Lady Kateryn Parr the eventual wife of Henry VIII and Queen of England, is the basis for this story. It is a tale that in and of itself has been told by numerous authors, but what makes Ms Byrd's book different is that she chooses to emphasize the relationship between t ...more
Jul 22, 2012 Christy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
While many of the historical novels and movies of late featuring the wives of King Henry VIII are nothing more than sensationalism, Sandra Byrd shows that historical fiction can be accurate and still entirely sensational in her latest book The Secret Keeper. Sweeping through 8-plus years of court intrigue, royalty, and grandeur, Sandra tells the story of Kateryn Parr through the eyes of a humble lady-in-waiting, Juliana St. John. Juliana's journey begins innocently enough, but hairpin turns are ...more
Colleen Turner
The Secret Keeper, the second book in the Ladies in Waiting series by Sandra Byrd, brings to life the glittering beauty and heartpounding treachery of the court surrounding Henry VIII's last wife, Kateryn Parr, through the eyes of a prophetic young woman, Juliana St. John. Risking everything for the love of her mistress, Juliana will not only work to keep the secrets of the Queen from those that wish to harm her, but will come across new secrets that shake the very core of her family.

Juliana gre
Jul 11, 2012 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Does Sandra Byrd know how to write a book or what? I'll be the first to admit that I don't often seek out books set in 16th century England but since having read To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn last year I make a point to read all Ms. Byrd's stories. I don't know a lot about the Tudors or English royalty but reading books like The Secret Keeper makes it feel like I'm living it up at court or that I'm right in the midst of a royal intrigue.

Juliana St. John, a companion and maid of honor
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Life in King Henry's Court definitely had advantages for men, but not women, but the life in the 1500's was quite interesting. There were ladies in the Queen's Court that waited and served her and gentlemen who went to war. No one could disobey the King and his edicts. One false move, and it could be off with your head, imprisonment, or a burning at the stake.

Life seemed quite harsh with the many do's and dont's in terms of religion and what was required and expected in terms of following what t
Natalie Grueninger
This is not my first encounter with Sandra Byrd’s fiction. Last year, I read and reviewed To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn and enjoyed it tremendously, so I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to read the second book in the Ladies in Waiting series, The Secret Keeper.

Having taken a little break from all things Tudor to focus on some important projects at work, I was concerned that the story might not be able to hold my attention. Well, I needn’t have worried, after only a few pages I
4.5 stars

I never seem to tire of the Tudor period but it's refreshing to be swept away with a unique perspective. The Secret Keeper is the story of Kateryn (Katherine) Parr through the eyes of fictional character Juliana St John.

Juliana is an intelligent young woman with the spiritual gift of prophecy, she's forthright, brave, as loyal as they come (something of a rarity) and a breath of fresh air for those tiring of the Tudor period. As lady in waiting, friend and trusted confidante to Kateryn
Kelsea Dawn Hume
In this steady historical fiction, a prophetic and devout reformer helps Kateryn Parr survive the court of her unwanted husband, Henry VIII.

My feelings about this book are complicated. The plot was tended to plod on, only to be spiced up by a rape, which I have a big problem with. I am tired of rape scenes, especially unnecessary rape scenes, which this certainly was. I'll admit that the subject of assault was dealt with sensitively and with an eye to the era, but I am still so very sick of rape
The Secret Keeper is the first of Sandra Byrd’s books I’ve read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sandra brings a new and rare story of Katheryn Parr. She is a person in English history that I have not read much about and now I’m intrigued by her. This story is told by Juliana St. John’s perspective, a daughter of a Knight.

Juliana’s mother expects her to marry the son of one of her father’s business men. But when Sir Thomas Seymour, brother of the late Queen Jane, comes to town in regards to the aff
Jul 11, 2012 Carly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been a fan of Sandra Byrd since her French Twist series. When I first heard about her Tudor novel, To Die For, I was uncertain that I would like it. I thought it might have been boring and dry, but my goodness, was I wrong. I loved that book, actually that’s an understatement, but close enough. When The Secret Keeper was released, I thought no way could Sandra do it again, this one won’t be as good. About two pages into the book (right about the time I got hooked), I had to ask myself why ...more
Bluerose's  Heart
Juliana St. John narrates The Secret Keeper. Through a chance meeting with Sir Thomas Seymour and a series of events, she becomes a "lady in waiting" for Henry VIII's 6th wife, Kateryn Parr. Juliana has the gift of prophecy, but she lives in a time where this gift is extremely dangerous! If the wrong person discovered her gift, it could mean death, but she knows she shouldn't keep the prophecies secret. Throughout the story, she meets another lady with her same gift.

I thought the prophecy aspect
Apr 29, 2012 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, christian
I'm so excited to share this amazing novel with you from Sandra Byrd! The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr is a historical novel that will whisk you away into another time full of court life, grand banquets, intrigue, and of course secrets.

The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr by Sandra Byrd is the second in the Ladies in Waiting Series. It releases June 5, 2012.

The first book in the series is To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (a 2012 Christy Award finalist). To Die For is an amazin
Jul 16, 2012 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books
To be posted on my blog 7/18 with giveaway:

Link to review on Amazon:


4.5 stars

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
4 stars? 5 stars? Perhaps 4.5 stars or 4.75. Sandra Byrd weaves an incredible historical tale in the end days of Henry VIII and his last wife Katheryn Parr and beyond her life even. The connection of characters both in court and in a familial sense was very appropriate for the times and added and interest level. I started this one in a rush after completing To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn and had a hiccup for a little bit before I got to finish the last few chapters, but enjoyed every minute ...more
(4.5 stars)

I'll give this book one of the highest compliments I can bestow on a novel ... it kept me up until late in the night, wanting to finish it. :-)

This author took a gap in what is known about Tudor England and wove a satisfying, well-crafted story around it. She also created an intelligent, brave, likeable character, Julianna St. John, to offer insight into the life of Katherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII.

For me, this novel was a page-turner. History. Political Intrigue. Romance. A b
The Secret Keeper was a very interesting and fascinating retelling of Kateryn Parr's life as King Henry's last wife. Once again, Sandra Byrd weaves a life-like, mystical tale of one of a most infamous king's eight wives. The only thing that disturbed me was Kateryn's giving into sexual immorality with Thomas. Was this suspected to have happened in real life; or just something Sandra Byrd added in?

Besides that, I did savor it as another interesting read of kings, queens, ladies-in-waiting and all
Kathleen E.
Sep 03, 2014 Kathleen E. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr by Sandra Byrd, 2012
Ladies in Waiting, Book 2

Kateryn Parr (b.1512-d.1548)
Sir Thomas Seymour seeks Hugh St. John to settle some business and comes upon his daughter, Juliana, as a lector at the church. Assured she would be just the one to serve as a confidante lady-in-waiting for his beloved Kateryn, her mother initially agrees to one year's service at court for her daughter.
Kateryn Parr has long been in love with Thomas, brot
3.5 stars. I thought this book held a lot of historical content, which I love, and the story was entertaining and clean. This book covers a longer period of time than I am used to reading in one book so I felt at times that I had a hard time connecting with the characters and story because many things were glazed over. That being said the story line was interesting and the character building well done. It was interesting to read the story of Kateryn Parr from the eyes of a lady in waiting.

Molly Murphy
Jul 17, 2014 Molly Murphy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really liked the Secret Keeper. In fact, it's my favorite in Sandra Byrd's Tudor series. Juliana's outspoken personality appealed to me as did Kate's mature, patient one (I am a little more like Juliana and should probably be a little more like Kate). It seems like there aren't enough strong women in Christian fiction and so I was glad to find books about Anne Boleyn, Kateryn Parr, and Elizabeth. I had always just thought of Kateryn (love that name, BTW) as the Wife Who Survived and this book op ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 18, 2015 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was way more literary than my usual reads, but the writing was superb and the court intrigue kept me reading. I don't know that I've ever read any historical fiction from this era so my knowledge of the people was rudimentary at best. That did not spoil the story though.

There were only a couple of parts that seemed so out of place with the rest of the book that I almost believe they have to true, otherwise I can't see the author making that turn in the story. I need to finish reading
Feb 28, 2015 Lizzy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't not enjoy this book, I did, I even really liked the ending. I just found it at times slow and heavy with details which bogged me down. At one point I even found myself counting the number of pages till the end not a good sign.

Maybe it was the historical nature of the book, although I have read other historical novels and enjoyed them more. I'm just not a huge fan of this book.

I enjoyed reading about the life of Kateryn Parr and the details of court. I liked that the author interpreted
Serena Chase
May 19, 2012 Serena Chase rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review to come, but... wow. Excellent follow up to the most excellent To Die For.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Queen's Pleasure
  • The King's Damsel (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #5)
  • I, Jane (In the Court of Henry VIII, #4)
  • The Sumerton Women
  • Mistress of Mourning
  • Her Highness, the Traitor
  • Catherine Parr
  • Venus in Winter
  • In the Shadow of Lady Jane
  • The Queen's Secret
  • Keeper of the King's Secrets  (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, #2)
  • By The King's Design
  • The Thistle and the Rose (Tudor Saga, #8)
After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, wa ...more
More about Sandra Byrd...

Other Books in the Series

Ladies in Waiting (3 books)
  • To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Ladies in Waiting, #1)
  • Roses Have Thorns (Ladies in Waiting #3)

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