Review: Keeper of the King’s Secrets by Michelle Diener

"The historical Tudor period of KEEPER OF THE KING’S SECRETS is exceedingly interesting, while puzzling mysteries add to the captivation."

Numerous individuals who actually lived during the reign of King Henry VIII are caught up in various conspiracies that could endanger the lives of just a few people or bring about war between countries. Michelle Diener focuses her Tudor story on a couple who were really involved in the life of this very famous English king, and then lets them be drawn into made-up scenarios filled with conceivable possibilities.

While out buying art supplies, Susanna Horenbout sees a man from her hometown. When she tries to speak with him and discover why he is in London, he suddenly attacks her for no reason. The bizarre behavior of her friend confuses her, and she explains everything to her betrothed, John Parker. Since John is an important courtier for King Henry VIII, he has ways of learning facts about someone and the evidence he uncovers only adds to the mystery of what the diamond cutter was doing in London.

When Susanna came to the city in order to become an artist for the king, she never thought her life would change so drastically or that she would be involved in any crucial matters between powerful countries. Her friend is somehow connected to The Mirror of Naples, a priceless jewel wanted by many and now missing. Susanna and then John are quickly entangled in this very complex plot, where enemies are always near and frequently unidentified.

Michelle Diener imagines the Tudor period as manipulative with much intrigue. Whether King Henry VIII is using his power over others to get his way or someone else is trying to influence how a situation will ultimately conclude, the scene often incorporates devious ideas where the desired end result is the only concern, not the lives of anyone affected. While John Parker and Susanna Horenbout did in fact work in the royal court, he as a courtier for the king and she as an artist, the occurrences happening to them in KEEPER OF THE KING’S SECRETS are from the creative mind of Michelle Diener. There are a number of mysteries to be solved, and how John and Susanna become mixed up in each of them and what eventually plays out is depicted with believability, thus making the reader want to acknowledge the events as perhaps true. Ms. Diener certainly had me thinking about the incidents in the story and pondering their genuineness. I also looked up many of the characters in the story to see if they did in fact exist, and a surprising number were real historical figures. While the romance between John and Susanna is more in the background, their feelings for each other do come across as honestly sincere and very committed as intense caring causes them to react in specific ways. The whole setting for the story is described with thorough information that lets readers clearly envision the moment in their mind. Much research has definitely been done by Ms. Diener to create stories with such authenticity. While reading the debut book about this couple would enrich the understanding of the second story, enough facts are given to make everything comprehensible to a first time reader. KEEPER OF THE KING’S SECRETS is dramatically original with imaginative scenes of suspense and one mystery after another.

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About the Book:
Genre: historical
ISBN: 978-1439197097
Page Count: 304
Price: $ 15.00
Reviewer: Amelia Richard

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Sensuality Rating: Sweet
Star Rating: 4 Stars
Author's Website:

posted Friday, March 30th, 2012

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