The story of lady-in-waiting to Queen Kateryn Parr, Juliana St. John, is told in The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd – the second in her Ladies in Waiting series. It has all the court intrigue and colourful characters as the first book in the series did.
Thomas Seymour brings Juliana to serve in Kateryn’s household and from there, they head to court where King Henry VIII and well, we all know that she becomes his sixth and last wife. While Juliana is a fictional character, I still enjoyed reading her story and loved the way Sandra wove her into history. It gave a fresh approach to the story and lets the reader see Queen Kate through the eyes of someone who comes to know her well and comes to love her – and the feelings are reciprocated. Kate takes on a motherly role in Juliana’s life and as such, Juliana comes to know all her secrets. Juliana has her flaws and sometimes that leads to moments of heartache for her. However, her relationship with a young knight begins and I loved watching it blossom. I couldn’t wait to see if she’d find happiness after something terrible happens to her.
Sandra Byrd really knows how to bring the Tudor Era to life and keeps you holding on to each and every word right until the very last page. She brings us an inspirational character in Juliana and blends just the right amount of fact and fiction, making The Secret Keeper a damn excellent read.