Saturday, March 17, 2012

Keeper of the King's Secrets by Michelle Diener

A priceless jewel.
A royal court rife with intrigue.
A secret deal, where the price of truth could come too high.

The personal artist to King Henry Tudor, Susanna Horenbout is sought by the queen and ladies of the court for her delicate, skilled portraits. But now someone from her past is pulling her into a duplicitous game where the consequence of failure is war. Soon, Susanna and her betrothed, the King’s most dangerous courtier, are unraveling a plot that would shatter Europe. And at the heart of it is a magnificent missing diamond.

With John Parker at her side, Susanna searches for the diamond and those responsible for its theft, their every step dogged by a lethal assassin. Finding the truth means plunging into the heart of the court’s most bitter infighting, surviving the harrowing labyrinth of Fleet Prison—and then coming face-to-face with the most dangerous enemy of all.

Keeper of the King’s Secrets is the sequel to In a Treacherous Court and continues the story of Susanna Horenbout and John Parker.

Once again, author Michelle Diener strikes a balance between intrigue, mystery, romance, and believable, well-developed characters. The secrets surrounding the Mirror of Naples captivated me and kept me reading. This book is definitely a bit of a page-turner aided along by an endearing love affair between the hero and heroine.

In a book market that is far too oversaturated with Tudor novels, don’t let this book scare you away. The characters in this story are lesser-known historical figures and fictional characters who reside on the peripheral of the Tudor court. Although there is much mention of the historical complexities of the time, the story is entertaining. Otherwise, I do not think I could have tolerated reading yet another novel about the far too over-done Tudors.

Although there is a romantic element in this novel, it does not resemble a formula romance. Rather, it is more of an adventure and mystery story with an element of unpredictability. And this is precisely why Michelle Diener’s novels are so much fun!

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